New Synthetic Methodology of Hybrid Materials for Energy-Related Applications

Wednesday, 27 May 2015
Salon C (Hilton Chicago)
C. Herreros Lucas, A. N. Khlobystov, and M. D. C. Gimenez Lopez (University of Nottingham)
New hybrid nanomaterials are strictly required to meet the future energetic demand. In this context, supercapacitors are proposed as the ideal candidate to fill the energetic gap between batteries and conventional capacitors, showing higher power and energy density respectively [1]. Supercapacitos are based on two storage mechanism: i) electrochemical double layer, which relay on electric charge storage and ii) pseudocapacitance, which is associated with the surface redox processes at electrode materials. As the former has high cycling stability while the latter present higher capacitance, research is focused on combining materials which present both mechanisms.

Nowadays, the widely used conventional approach is based on a physically mixture of both materials. Carbon nanostructures are currently the most used support material for electrochemical applications mainly due to their low cost and high surface area, directly related to electrochemical double layer. Thus, pseudocapacitance materials such as metal oxides nanoparticles are the active material combined with the carbon support, leading to a much better distribution and also increment of the electrochemical properties. However, simple mixing these two nanocomponents affords limited interactions between them, leaving a significant portion of the material electrochemically inactive. Therefore, new synthetic procedures must be developed if new hybrid materials want to be achieved [2,3]

Here, we report a novel one-step methodology for preparing hybrid metal-carbon nanostructures by using pre-treated carbon nanofibers as templates for directing the in-situ syntehsis of surfactante-stabilised manganese oxide nanoparticles selected as model system for studying the structure-energy storage capacity relationship of the obtained hybrid nanostructure by electrochemical means.

[1] Simon, P. et al., Nature Materials, 2008. 845(7): p. 275709. [2] Gimenez-Lopez M. C. et al., Angew Chem. Int. Ed. Engl., 2013. 52(7): p. 2051-4. [3] La Torre, A., et al., ACS Nano, 2012. 6(3): p. 2000-2007.