Journal of colloid and interface science

Nitrogen-doped hierarchical porous carbon microsphere through KOH activation for supercapacitors.

PMID 25913778


A porous carbon microsphere with moderate specific surface area and superior specific capacitance for supercapacitors is fabricated from polyphosphazene microsphere as the single heteroatoms source by the carbonization and subsequent KOH activation under N2 atmosphere. With KOH activation, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis confirms that the phosphorus of polyphosphazene microsphere totally vanishes, and the doping content of nitrogen and its population of various functionalities on porous carbon microsphere surface are tuned. Compared with non-porous carbon microsphere, the texture property of the resultant porous carbon microsphere subjected to KOH activation has been remarkably developed with the specific surface area growing from 315 to 1341 m(2) g(-1)and the pore volume turning from 0.17 to 0.69 cm(3) g(-1). Prepared with the KOH/non-porous carbon microsphere weight ratio at 1.0, the porous carbon microsphere with moderate specific surface area of 568 m(2) g(-1), exhibits intriguing electrochemical behavior in 1 M H2SO4 aqueous electrolyte, with superior specific capacitance (278 F g(-1) at 0.1 A g(-1)), good rate capability (147 F g(-1) remained at 10 A g(-1)) and robust cycling durability (No capacitance loss after 5000 cycles). The promising electrochemical performance could be ascribed to the synergy of nitrogen heteroatom functionalities and the porous morphology.