Materials Research Bulletin, Vol.44, No.8, 1663-1669, 2009
Direct template synthesis of mesoporous carbon and its application to supercapacitor electrodes
A direct templating method which is facile, inexpensive and suitable for the large scale production of mesoporous carbon is reported herein. A meso-structure surfactant/silicate template was made in a solution phase and resorcinol-formaldehyde as a carbon precursor was incorporated into the template solution. After aging, carbonization and hydrofluoric acid (HF) etching, mesoporous carbon was obtained. Using X-ray diffraction, scanning and transmission electron microscopy and nitrogen sorption, the synthesis mechanism of the mesoporous carbon was elucidated. According to the small angle X-ray scattering measurements, the surface became smoother after the removal of the silica, indicating that the silica was mostly located at the pore surface of the carbon. Also, the calculation of the pore volume demonstrated that the silica was transferred into the pores of the carbon without structural collapse during HF etching. When the prepared mesoporous carbon was applied to a supercapacitor electrode, the rectangular shape of the cyclic voltammogram was less collapsed, even at a high scan rate, which is indicative of its high rate capability. This was due to the low resistance of the electrolyte in the pores (3.8 Omega cm(2)), which was smaller than that of conventional activated carbon electrodes and even comparable to that of ordered mesoporous carbon electrodes. This improved performance was probably due to the well developed mesoporosity and high pore connectivity of the prepared mesoporous carbon. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.