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Nanoporous metal/oxide hybrid electrodes for electrochemical supercapacitors

Nature Nanotechnology volume 6, pages 232236 (2011) | Download Citation

Abstract

Electrochemical supercapacitors can deliver high levels of electrical power and offer long operating lifetimes1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, but their energy storage density is too low for many important applications2,3. Pseudocapacitive transition-metal oxides such as MnO2 could be used to make electrodes in such supercapacitors, because they are predicted to have a high capacitance for storing electrical charge while also being inexpensive and not harmful to the environment9,10. However, the poor conductivity of MnO2 (10–5–10–6 S cm–1) limits the charge/discharge rate for high-power applications10,11. Here, we show that hybrid structures made of nanoporous gold and nanocrystalline MnO2 have enhanced conductivity, resulting in a specific capacitance of the constituent MnO2 (1,145 F g–1) that is close to the theoretical value9. The nanoporous gold allows electron transport through the MnO2, and facilitates fast ion diffusion between the MnO2 and the electrolytes while also acting as a double-layer capacitor. The high specific capacitances and charge/discharge rates offered by such hybrid structures make them promising candidates as electrodes in supercapacitors, combining high-energy storage densities with high levels of power delivery.

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Acknowledgements

This work was sponsored by the Global COE for Materials Research and Education, the World Premier International (WPI) Research Center Initiative for Atoms, Molecules and Materials, and the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). X.Y.L was supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) postdoctoral fellowship programme (P07373).

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Affiliations

  1. WPI Advanced Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8577, Japan

    • Xingyou Lang
    • , Akihiko Hirata
    • , Takeshi Fujita
    •  & Mingwei Chen

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Contributions

X.Y.L. and M.W.C. conceived and designed the experiments. X.Y.L. carried out the fabrication of materials and performed electrochemical characterization. A.H. and T.F. contributed to microstructural characterization. X.Y.L. and M.W.C. wrote the paper, and all authors discussed the results and commented on the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mingwei Chen.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2011.13

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