Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Vol.147, No.7, 2507-2512, 2000
Electric double-layer capacitor performance of a new mesoporous carbon
A new mesoporous carbon (NMC) was prepared, and its performance in an electric double-layer capacitor (EDLC) was compared to that of a conventional carbon (a molecular-sieving carbon, MSC25). The effect of pore size and pore connection pattern on EDLC performance was demonstrated. To prepare NMC, phenol resin was synthesized inside the pores of an inorganic template, Mobile Composite Material 48 (MCM48), and the resulting resin-template composite was carbonized at 700 degrees C under Ar atmosphere. A coke-like carbonaceous material was obtained after removing the inorganic template by HF treatment. The surface area of NMC was 1257 m(2) g(-1) which is smaller than that of MSC25 (1970 m(2) g(-1)). NMC had three-dimensionally interconnected mesopores (2.3 nm average diam), but randomly connected cage-like micropores (<2.0 nm) were dominant in MSC25. The difference in the pore size and pore connection pattern between the two carbons gave rise to a remarkable difference in their EDLC performances. NMC exhibited a smaller specific capacitance (about 120 F g(-1)) than MSC25 as a result of its smaller surface area, but it showed a higher critical scan rate than the MSC25 electrode due to a smaller resistance-capacitance (RC) time constant. The specific charging capacity of the NMC electrode was about 20 mAh g(-1) and was largely invariant vs. the charge-discharge rate. This was contrasted by MSC25 which showed a steadily decreasing capacity with an increase in rate. As a result, the NMC electrode outperformed the MSC25 based on rate capability. The smaller RC time constant and better rate capability of the NMC electrode apparently arises from the lower electrolyte resistance in pores, which in turn stems from the faster ionic motion in larger pores.