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Materials 2016, 9(12), 995;

Pore-Structure-Optimized CNT-Carbon Nanofibers from Starch for Rechargeable Lithium Batteries

Research Reactor Fuel Development Division, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Daejeon 305-353, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jian-Gan Wang and Bingqing Wei
Received: 29 July 2016 / Revised: 21 November 2016 / Accepted: 23 November 2016 / Published: 8 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Electrochemical Capacitors and Batteries)
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Porous carbon materials are used for many electrochemical applications due to their outstanding properties. However, research on controlling the pore structure and analyzing the carbon structures is still necessary to achieve enhanced electrochemical properties. In this study, mesoporous carbon nanotube (CNT)-carbon nanofiber electrodes were developed by heat-treatment of electrospun starch with carbon nanotubes, and then applied as a binder-free electrochemical electrode for a lithium-ion battery. Using the unique lamellar structure of starch, mesoporous CNT-carbon nanofibers were prepared and their pore structures were controlled by manipulating the heat-treatment conditions. The activation process greatly increased the volume of micropores and mesopores of carbon nanofibers by etching carbons with CO2 gas, and the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) specific area increased to about 982.4 m2·g−1. The activated CNT-carbon nanofibers exhibited a high specific capacity (743 mAh·g−1) and good cycle performance (510 mAh·g−1 after 30 cycles) due to their larger specific surface area. This condition presents many adsorption sites of lithium ions, and higher electrical conductivity, compared with carbon nanofibers without CNT. The research suggests that by controlling the heat-treatment conditions and activation process, the pore structure of the carbon nanofibers made from starch could be tuned to provide the conditions needed for various applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: starch; electrospinning; nanofiber; carbon nanotube; activated carbon; mesoporous; electrochemical properties; lithium ion battery starch; electrospinning; nanofiber; carbon nanotube; activated carbon; mesoporous; electrochemical properties; lithium ion battery

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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    Description: Figure S1. The morphology of electrospun starch nanofibers by scanning electron micrograph. Figure S2. The influence of carbonization temperature on the elemental composition of carbonized starch.

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Jeong, Y.; Lee, K.; Kim, K.; Kim, S. Pore-Structure-Optimized CNT-Carbon Nanofibers from Starch for Rechargeable Lithium Batteries. Materials 2016, 9, 995.

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