Enhanced yet affordable material for supercapacitors: Mass production of 3D mesoporous graphene nano-balls

July 8, 2013
3D Mesoporous Graphene. Credit: UNIST

Korean Researchers from Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) developed a new method to massively synthesize enhanced yet affordable materials for supercapacitors.

Supercapacitors have attracted increasing attention due to their long life cycle, highly reversible charge storage process and specific along with increased concern over the exhaustion of natural resources.

Graphene has been recognized as a promising active material for supercapacitors due to its outstanding and , as they are the two most important requirements for supercapacitors.

Among the various methods for the fabrication of graphene sheets, the (CVD) technique is highly recommended due to the high conductivity of as-prepared graphene. But the scalability is still needed for commercialization. Additionally these limitations called for great interest on further improvement.

The research team led by Prof. Ji-Hyun Jang from UNIST, previously reported a novel approach to synthesize CVD-grown three-dimensional graphene nano-networks (3-D GNs) that can be mass produced while retaining the excellent properties of 2D graphene and published in the Scientific Reports in May 2013.

Here, Prof. Jang extended her previous research in Scientific Reports and demonstrated a unique route to obtain a mass-producible mesoporous graphene nano-ball (MGB) with a large surface area and great conductivity, via precursor-assisted CVD, using metal precursors as a catalyst which is applicable to supercapacitors.

Prof. Ji-Hyun Jang is from the Interdisciplinary School of Green Energy at UNIST and the fellow researchers include Jung-Soo Lee, Sun-I Kim and Jong-Chul Yoon from the Interdisciplinary School of Green Energy at UNIST.

Compared to the conventional graphene , a new way, suggested by the UNIST research group, is scalable and able to produce high quality and customizable graphene with better environmental impacts.

With the resulting materials, mesoporous graphene balls, the capacity of supercapacitor has been improved significantly. Due to the unique mesoporous structure, three-dimensional networks are formed, which help to improve conductivity. Furthermore, mesopores inside the graphene surfaces induce nanochannels to transport ions in electrolyte, and improve the properties of supercapacitor.

The MGB presents a specific of 508 m2/g and mesoporosity with a mean pore diameter of 4.27 nm. The conductivity of the p-doped MGB obtained from more than 10 samples was 6.5 S/cm. The MGB-based supercapacitor shows good performance, including an excellent capacitance of 206 F/g and 96% retention of capacitance after 10,000 cycles even at a high current density.

"Our work is very meaningful since we succeed in the fabrication of CVD-grown graphene with high qualities on a gram scale," said Prof. Jang. "When the mesoporous graphene balls are used as an electrode material for supercapacitor, it proves great potential for energy storage devices with high efficiency."

She also said "If the properties of mesoporous graphene are improved further by continuous research, developing an electric vehicle with high power will become a realization not just a dream," showing their future research plan.

Explore further: Sponge-like graphene makes promising supercapacitor electrodes

More information: Chemical Vapor Deposition of Mesoporous Graphene Nanoballs for Supercapacitor, Jung-Soo Lee, Sun-I Kim, Jong-Chul Yoon, and Ji-Hyun Jang, ACS Nano Article ASAP. pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nn401850z

Related Stories

Stretchable, transparent graphene-metal nanowire electrode

May 30, 2013

A hybrid transparent and stretchable electrode could open the new way for flexible displays, solar cells, and even electronic devices fitted on a curvature substrate such as soft eye contact lenses, by the UNIST(Ulsan National ...

No more leakage of explosive electrolytes in batteries

June 27, 2013

(Phys.org) —A research team at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), S. Korea, found a new physical organogel electrolyte with two unique characteristics: an irreversible thermal gelation and a high ...

Recommended for you

Physicists develop new technique to fathom 'smart' materials

November 26, 2015

Physicists from the FOM Foundation and Leiden University have found a way to better understand the properties of manmade 'smart' materials. Their method reveals how stacked layers in such a material work together to bring ...

Mathematicians identify limits to heat flow at the nanoscale

November 24, 2015

How much heat can two bodies exchange without touching? For over a century, scientists have been able to answer this question for virtually any pair of objects in the macroscopic world, from the rate at which a campfire can ...

New sensor sends electronic signal when estrogen is detected

November 24, 2015

Estrogen is a tiny molecule, but it can have big effects on humans and other animals. Estrogen is one of the main hormones that regulates the female reproductive system - it can be monitored to track human fertility and is ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.