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ACS Nano. 2013 Jan 22;7(1):174-82. doi: 10.1021/nn304833s. Epub 2012 Dec 31.

Freestanding three-dimensional graphene/MnO2 composite networks as ultralight and flexible supercapacitor electrodes.

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School of Physical Science and Technology, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, People's Republic of China.


A lightweight, flexible, and highly efficient energy management strategy is needed for flexible energy-storage devices to meet a rapidly growing demand. Graphene-based flexible supercapacitors are one of the most promising candidates because of their intriguing features. In this report, we describe the use of freestanding, lightweight (0.75 mg/cm(2)), ultrathin (<200 μm), highly conductive (55 S/cm), and flexible three-dimensional (3D) graphene networks, loaded with MnO(2) by electrodeposition, as the electrodes of a flexible supercapacitor. It was found that the 3D graphene networks showed an ideal supporter for active materials and permitted a large MnO(2) mass loading of 9.8 mg/cm(2) (~92.9% of the mass of the entire electrode), leading to a high area capacitance of 1.42 F/cm(2) at a scan rate of 2 mV/s. With a view to practical applications, we have further optimized the MnO(2) content with respect to the entire electrode and achieved a maximum specific capacitance of 130 F/g. In addition, we have also explored the excellent electrochemical performance of a symmetrical supercapacitor (of weight less than 10 mg and thickness ~0.8 mm) consisting of a sandwich structure of two pieces of 3D graphene/MnO(2) composite network separated by a membrane and encapsulated in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) membranes. This research might provide a method for flexible, lightweight, high-performance, low-cost, and environmentally friendly materials used in energy conversion and storage systems for the effective use of renewable energy.

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