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Nanotechnology. 2017 Apr 7;28(14):145402. doi: 10.1088/1361-6528/aa5fad. Epub 2017 Mar 8.

Uniform implantation of CNTs on total activated carbon surfaces: a smart engineering protocol for commercial supercapacitor applications.

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Institute for Clean Energy & Advanced Materials, Faculty of Materials and Energy, Southwest University, No.2 Tiansheng Road, BeiBei District, Chongqing 400715, People's Republic of China. Chongqing Key Laboratory for Advanced Materials and Technologies of Clean Energies, No.2 Tiansheng Road, BeiBei District, Chongqing 400715, People's Republic of China.


The main obstacles to building better supercapacitors are still trade-offs between energy and power parameters. To promote commercial supercapacitor behaviors, proper optimization toward electrode configurations/architectures may be a feasible and effective way. We herein propose a smart and reliable electrode engineering protocol, by in situ implantation of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) on total activated carbon (AC) surfaces via a mild chemical vapor deposition process at ∼550 °C, using nickel nitrate hydroxide (NNH) thin films and waste ethanol solvents as the catalyst and carbon sources, respectively. The direct and conformal growth of NNH layers onto carbonaceous scaffold guarantees the later uniform implantation of long and high-quality CNTs on total AC outer surfaces. Such fluffy and entangled CNTs preserve ionic diffusion channels, well connect neighboring ACs and function as superhighways for electrons transfer, endowing electrodes with outstanding capacitive behaviors including large output capacitances of ∼230 F g-1 in 1 M Na2SO4 neutral solution and ∼502.5 F g-1 in 6 M KOH using Ni valence state variation, and very negligible capacity decay in long-term cycles. Furthermore, a full symmetric supercapacitor device of CNTs@ACs//CNTs@ACs has been constructed, capable of delivering both high specific energy and power densities (maximum values reaching up to ∼97.2 Wh kg-1 and ∼10.84 kW kg-1), which holds great potential in competing with current mainstream supercapacitors.


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