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High-Power Supercapacitor Electrodes from Single-Walled Carbon Nanohorn/Nanotube Composite

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journal contribution
posted on 22.02.2011, 00:00 by Ali Izadi-Najafabadi, Takeo Yamada, Don. N. Futaba, Masako Yudasaka, Hideyuki Takagi, Hiroaki Hatori, Sumio Iijima, Kenji Hata
A novel composite is presented as a supercapacitor electrode with a high maximum power rating (990 kW/kg; 396 kW/l) exceeding power performances of other electrodes. The high-power capability of the electrode stemmed from its unique meso-macro pore structure engineered through the utilization of single-walled carbon nanotubes (20 wt %) as scaffolding for single-walled carbon nanohorns (80 wt %). The novel composite electrode also exhibited durable operation (6.5% decline in capacitance over 100 000 cycles) as a result of its monolithic chemical composition and mechanical stability. The novel composite electrode was benchmarked against another high-power electrode made from single-walled carbon nanotubes (Bucky paper electrode). While the composite electrode had a lower surface area compared to the Bucky paper electrode (280 vs 470 m2/g from nitrogen adsorption), it had a higher meso-macro pore volume (2.6 vs 1.6 mL/g from mercury porosimetry) which enabled the composite electrode to retain more electrolyte, ensuring facile ion transport, hence achieving a higher maximum power rating (970 vs 400 kW/kg).