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Improved Symmetric Supercapacitive Performance of Binder-free PANI/Carbon Fiber Composites

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Background: Poor specific energy density of carbon material limits it as promising candidate for being used in two electrode system. This problem can be overcome by employing pseudocapacitive materials such as metal oxides/hydroxides and conducting polymers with carbon materials in two electrode device. In this study, PANI containing composite electrodes based on carbon cloths and felts with high specific surface area have been developed for symmetric supercapacitor device by one step chemical polymerization of aniline. Methods: Polyaniline (PANI) based composites have been prepared with various carbon materials (Carbopon B-Active, Felt 228, cloth Busofit T-040 and Busofit T-040/Carbopon B-Active (C/C Composite) by chemical polymerization of aniline in an acidic medium. Ammonium persulfate is used as an oxidizing agent. The potential for using these Carbon materials/ Polyaniline composites (CMs/PANI composites) as supercapacitor electrodes have been explored by cyclic voltammetry and galvanostatic charge/discharge tests within a potential window of 0- 1.0 V in 6M H2SO4 aqueous electrolyte. Results: Based on the charge/discharge test, it is found that the highest specific capacitance could be achieved from the composite with 25 wt. % PANI. CMs/PANI composites demonstrate significant capacitance enhancement in comparison to CMs. Conclusion: PANI-containing composites based on commercially available carbon felts Carbopon B-Active, Felt 228, carbon cloth Busofit T-040 and carbon/carbon composite “Busofit T-040/Carbopon B-Active” have been prepared. It has been shown that the CMs/PANI composites have a capacity of 1.3-2.2 times higher than the capacity of unmodified CMs. The coulombic efficiency of composites has been measured to be about 97-99%. This encouraging result demonstrates the importance of developed CMs/PNI composites as binder free and flexible electrode materials for high energy symmetric supercapacitor.
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Keywords: Carbon cloth; carbon felt; carbon fiber; chemical polymerization; conducting polymer; polyaniline; specific capacitance; supercapacitor

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2016

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