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Influence of Urea on the Synthesis of NiCo2O4 Nanostructure: Morphological and Electrochemical Studies

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The widespread use of miniature electronic devices calls for energy-dense storage strategies. The supercapacitor-based energy storage devices with high areal capacitance are desired energy storage alternative. It is still a challenge to fabricate supercapacitor-based energy devices with consistent performance. The porous metal oxides with large areal capacitance are desired materials for electrode, but there exists a limited understanding of the influence of synthesis parameters on microstructural properties, which largely govern their electrochemical performance. In the present work, hierarchal spinel nickel cobaltite (NiCo2O4) nanostructures were synthesized in the presence of the varying amount of hydrolyzing agent via a simple hydrothermal method coupled with a simple post-annealing process. This work focuses on understanding the influence of hydrolyzing agent in controlling the microstructure and hence ensuing electrochemical properties of the NiCo2O4 based electrode. Based on the urea hydrolyzing content, the as synthesized NiCo2O4 nanostructure varied from the rod, plate to nanoflower. The mesoporous nanostructures, with urea content 1.49 gm, exhibit a sizeable BJH surface area (79.2 m2 g−1) and high mesopore volume (0.140 cm3 g−1). Remarkably, the NiCo2O4 nanoflower shows high specific capacitance of 3143.451 F/g at 2 mV/s scan rate, 1264.5 F/g at 1 A/g current density, energy density of 56 Wh/kg and power density of 8,400 W/kg in 3 M KOH electrolyte. The capacitance loss after 5000 cycles is 48% at the current density of 10 A/g, indicating their excellent cycling stability. The impressive electrocatalytic activity is largely ascribed to the high intrinsic electronic conductivity, superior mesoporous nanostructures and rich surface Ni active species of the NiCo2O4 materials, which can largely boost the interfacial electroactive sites and charge transfer rates indicating promising applications as electrodes in future supercapacitors.
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Keywords: Cyclic Voltammetry; Electrochemical; Hydrolyzing Agent Urea; Hydrothermal; NiCo2O4; Specific Capacitance

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Physics and Materials Science, The University of Memphis, Memphis, TN 38152, USA 2: Department of Chemistry, Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, KS 66762, USA 3: Engineering Technology, The University of Memphis, Memphis, TN 38152, USA

Publication date: April 1, 2020

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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