Research Article

Three-dimensional holey-graphene/niobia composite architectures for ultrahigh-rate energy storage

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Science  12 May 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6338, pp. 599-604
DOI: 10.1126/science.aam5852

As with donuts, the holes matter

Improving the density of stored charge and increasing the speed at which it can move through a material are usually opposing objectives. Sun et al. developed a Nb2O5/holey graphene framework composite with tailored porosity. The three-dimensional, hierarchically porous holey graphene acted as a conductive scaffold to support Nb2O5. A high mass loading and improved power capability were reached by tailoring the porosity in the holey graphene backbone with higher charge transport in the composite architecture. The interconnected graphene network provided excellent electron transport, and the hierarchical porous structure in the graphene sheets facilitated rapid ion transport and mitigated diffusion limitations.

Science, this issue p. 599


Nanostructured materials have shown extraordinary promise for electrochemical energy storage but are usually limited to electrodes with rather low mass loading (~1 milligram per square centimeter) because of the increasing ion diffusion limitations in thicker electrodes. We report the design of a three-dimensional (3D) holey-graphene/niobia (Nb2O5) composite for ultrahigh-rate energy storage at practical levels of mass loading (>10 milligrams per square centimeter). The highly interconnected graphene network in the 3D architecture provides excellent electron transport properties, and its hierarchical porous structure facilitates rapid ion transport. By systematically tailoring the porosity in the holey graphene backbone, charge transport in the composite architecture is optimized to deliver high areal capacity and high-rate capability at high mass loading, which represents a critical step forward toward practical applications.

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