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Carbon-Based Supercapacitors Produced by Activation of Graphene

Science  24 Jun 2011:
Vol. 332, Issue 6037, pp. 1537-1541
DOI: 10.1126/science.1200770

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Abstract

Supercapacitors, also called ultracapacitors or electrochemical capacitors, store electrical charge on high-surface-area conducting materials. Their widespread use is limited by their low energy storage density and relatively high effective series resistance. Using chemical activation of exfoliated graphite oxide, we synthesized a porous carbon with a Brunauer-Emmett-Teller surface area of up to 3100 square meters per gram, a high electrical conductivity, and a low oxygen and hydrogen content. This sp2-bonded carbon has a continuous three-dimensional network of highly curved, atom-thick walls that form primarily 0.6- to 5-nanometer-width pores. Two-electrode supercapacitor cells constructed with this carbon yielded high values of gravimetric capacitance and energy density with organic and ionic liquid electrolytes. The processes used to make this carbon are readily scalable to industrial levels.

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