Edge effects in vertically-oriented graphene based electric double-layer capacitors

HC Yang and JY Yang and Z Bo and S Zhang and JH Yan and KF Cen, JOURNAL OF POWER SOURCES, 324, 309-316 (2016).

DOI: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2016.05.072

Vertically-oriented graphenes (VGs) have been demonstrated as a promising active material for electric double-layer capacitors (EDLCs), partially due to their edge-enriched structure. In this work, the 'edge effects', i.e., edges as the promoters of high capacitance, in VG based EDLCs are investigated with experimental research and numerical simulations. VGs with diverse heights (i.e., edge-to-basal ratios) and edge densities are prepared with varying the plasma-enabled growth time and employing different plasma sources. Electrochemical measurements show that the edges play a predominant role on the charge storage behavior of VGs. A simulation is further conducted to unveil the roles of the edges on the separation and adsorption of ions within VG channels. The initial charge distribution of a VG plane is obtained with density functional theory (DFT) calculations, which is subsequently applied to a molecular dynamics (MD) simulation system to gain the insights into the microscope EDLC structures. Compared with the basal planes, the edges present higher initial charge density (by 4.2 times), higher ion packing density (by 2.6 times), closer ion packing location (by 0.8 angstrom), and larger ion separation degree (by 14%). The as- obtained findings will be instructive in designing the morphology and structure of VGs for enhanced capacitive performances. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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