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Nano Lett. 2014 May 14;14(5):2522-7. doi: 10.1021/nl500255v. Epub 2014 Apr 8.

Polyaniline and polypyrrole pseudocapacitor electrodes with excellent cycling stability.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California , Santa Cruz, California 95064, United States.


Conducting polymers such as polyaniline and polypyrrole have been widely used as pseudocapacitive electrode materials for supercapacitors. However, their structural instability resulting from repeated volumetric swelling and shrinking during charge/discharge process has been a major hurdle for their practical applications. This work demonstrates a simple and general strategy to substantially enhance the cycling stability of conductive polymer electrodes by deposition of a thin carbonaceous shell onto their surface. Significantly, carbonaceous shell-coated polyaniline and polypyrrole electrodes achieved remarkable capacitance retentions of ∼95 and ∼85% after 10,000 cycles. Electron microscopy studies revealed that the presence of ∼5 nm thick carbonaceous shell can effective prevent the structural breakdown of polymer electrodes during charge/discharge process. Importantly, the polymer electrodes with a ∼5 nm thick carbonaceous shell exhibited comparable specific capacitance and pseudocapacitive behavior as the bare polymer electrodes. We anticipate that the same strategy can be applied for stabilizing other polymer electrode materials. The capability of fabricating stable polymer electrodes could open up new opportunities for pseudocapacitive devices.


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