Fabrication and textural characterization of nanoporous carbon electrodes embedded with CuO nanoparticles for supercapacitors

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Kumaresa P S Prasad, Dattatray S Dhawale, Thiripuranthagan Sivakumar, Salem S Aldeyab, Javaid S M Zaidi, Katsuhiko Ariga and Ajayan Vinu (2011)
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis Group
  • Journal: Science and Technology of Advanced Materials (issn: 1468-6996, eissn: 1878-5514)
  • Subject: Materials of engineering and construction. Mechanics of materials | TA401-492 | Biotechnology | TP248.13-248.65

We introduce a novel strategy of fabricating nanoporous carbons loaded with different amounts of CuO nanoparticles via a hard templating approach, using copper-containing mesoporous silica as the template and sucrose as the carbon source. The nature and dispersion of the CuO nanoparticles on the surface of the nanoporous carbons were investigated by x-ray diffraction (XRD), high-resolution scanning electron microscopy (HRSEM) and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). XRD results reveal that nanoporous carbons with embedded CuO nanoparticles exhibit a well-ordered mesoporous structure, whereas the nitrogen adsorption measurements indicate the presence of excellent textural characteristics such as high surface area, large pore volume and uniform pore size distribution. The amount of CuO nanoparticles in the nanochannels of the nanoporous carbon could be controlled by simply varying the Si/Cu molar ratio of the mesoporous silica template. Morphological characterization by SEM and TEM reveals that high-quality CuO nanoparticles are distributed homogeneously within the nanoporous carbon framework. The supercapacitance behavior of the CuO-loaded nanoporous carbons was investigated. The material with a small amount of CuO in the mesochannels and high surface area affords a maximum specific capacitance of 300 F g-1 at a 20 mV s-1 scan rate in an aqueous electrolyte solution. A supercapacitor containing the CuO-loaded nanoporous carbon is highly stable and exhibits a long cycle life with 91% specific capacitance retained after 1000 cycles.
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