Topical Collection "Feature Papers in the Science and Engineering of Carbons"

A topical collection in C (ISSN 2311-5629).

Editors

Prof. Dr. Craig E. Banks
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Science and Engineering, Manchester Metropolitan University, Chester Street, Manchester M1 5GD, UK
Interests: electrochemistry; 3D printing; 2D material electrochemistry; sensor design and development; screen-printing and related sensor fabrication; electron transfer; sono-electrochemistry; nanoparticles
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Jandro L. Abot
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC 20064, USA
Interests: experimental stress mechanics; polymeric composite materials; carbon nanotube fibers; integrated and distributed structural health monitoring in composite materials; piezoresistive sensors
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Topical Collection “Feature Papers in the Science and Engineering of Carbons” will include high-quality research articles, short communications, and review articles about the physics, chemistry, engineering or technological applications of carbon phases and structures including graphite and pyrolytic carbon; diamond; carbon black; glassy carbon; porous carbons; graphene, fullerenes and carbon nanotubes; carbyne, sp2 and non-sp2 hybridized carbons; and carbon-carbon and other carbon composites. Since the aim of this Topical Collection is to illustrate through selected works the frontier research in this field, we encourage the editorial board members and members of the scientific community at-large to submit their works. Special areas of interest to C-Journal of Carbon Research include but are not limited to the following:

  • Carbon Materials and Carbon Allotropes 
  • CO2 Utilization and Conversion 
  • Carbon Cycle, Capture and Storage
  • Carbon Skeleton
  • Combustion Emissions

Prof. Dr. Craig E. Banks
Prof. Dr. Jandro Abot
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the collection website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. C is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (30 papers)

2021

Jump to: 2020

Review
Carbon Nanoarchitectonics for Energy and Related Applications
C 2021, 7(4), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/c7040073 - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 296
Abstract
Nanoarchitectonics has been recently proposed as a post-nanotechnology concept. It is the methodology to produce functional materials from nanoscale units. Carbon-based materials are actively used in nanoarchitectonics approaches. This review explains several recent examples of energy and related applications of carbon materials from [...] Read more.
Nanoarchitectonics has been recently proposed as a post-nanotechnology concept. It is the methodology to produce functional materials from nanoscale units. Carbon-based materials are actively used in nanoarchitectonics approaches. This review explains several recent examples of energy and related applications of carbon materials from the viewpoint of the nanoarchitectonics concept. Explanations and discussions are described according to the classification of carbon sources for nanostructured materials: (i) carbon nanoarchitectonics from molecules and supramolecular assemblies; (ii) carbon nanoarchitectonics from fullerenes; (iii) carbon nanoarchitectonics from biomass; and (iv) carbon nanoarchitectonics with composites and hybrids. Functional carbon materials can be nanoarchitected through various processes, including well-skilled organic synthesis with designed molecular sources; self-assembly of fullerenes under various conditions; practical, low-cost synthesis from biomass; and hybrid/composite formation with various carbon sources. These examples strikingly demonstrate the enormous potential of nanoarchitectonics approaches to produce functional carbon materials from various components such as small molecules, fullerene, other nanocarbons, and naturally abundant biomasses. While this review article only shows limited application aspects in energy-related usages such as supercapacitors, applications for more advanced cells and batteries, environmental monitoring and remediation, bio-medical usages, and advanced devices are also expected. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Monitoring of Curing and Cyclic Thermoresistive Response Using Monofilament Carbon Nanotube Yarn Silicone Composites
C 2021, 7(3), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/c7030060 - 04 Aug 2021
Viewed by 495
Abstract
The curing process and thermoresistive response of a single carbon nanotube yarn (CNTY) embedded in a room temperature vulcanizing (RTV) silicone forming a CNTY monofilament composite were investigated toward potential applications in integrated curing monitoring and temperature sensing. Two RTV silicones of different [...] Read more.
The curing process and thermoresistive response of a single carbon nanotube yarn (CNTY) embedded in a room temperature vulcanizing (RTV) silicone forming a CNTY monofilament composite were investigated toward potential applications in integrated curing monitoring and temperature sensing. Two RTV silicones of different crosslinking mechanisms, SR1 and SR2 (tin- and platinum-cured, respectively), were used to investigate their curing kinetics using the electrical response of the CNTY. It is shown that the relative electrical resistance change of CNTY/SR1 and CNTY/SR2 monofilament composites increased by 3.8% and 3.3%, respectively, after completion of the curing process. The thermoresistive characterization of the CNTY monofilament composites was conducted during heating–cooling ramps ranging from room temperature (RT~25 °C) to 100 °C. The thermoresistive response was nearly linear with a negative temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR) at heating and cooling sections for both CNTY/SR1 and CNTY/SR2 monofilament composites. The average TCR value was −8.36 × 10−4 °C−1 for CNTY/SR1 and −7.26 × 10−4 °C−1 for CNTY/SR2. Both monofilament composites showed a negligible negative residual relative electrical resistance change with average values of ~−0.11% for CNTY/SR1 and ~−0.16% for CNTY/SR2 after each cycle. The hysteresis amounted to ~21.85% in CNTY/SR1 and ~29.80% in CNTY/SR2 after each cycle. In addition, the effect of heating rate on the thermoresistive sensitivity of CNTY monofilament composites was investigated and it was shown that it reduces as the heating rate increases. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Preparation and Carbonization of Glucose and Pyromellitic Dianhydride Crosslinked Polymers
C 2021, 7(3), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/c7030056 - 26 Jul 2021
Viewed by 661
Abstract
In this work, four types of nanosponges were prepared from pyromellitic dianhydride (PMDA) and D-glucose (GLU) with different molar ratios (1.5:1, 2:1, 2.5:1 and 3:1). The obtained PMDA/GLU nanosponges were then pyrolyzed at 800 °C for 30 min under N2 gas flow. [...] Read more.
In this work, four types of nanosponges were prepared from pyromellitic dianhydride (PMDA) and D-glucose (GLU) with different molar ratios (1.5:1, 2:1, 2.5:1 and 3:1). The obtained PMDA/GLU nanosponges were then pyrolyzed at 800 °C for 30 min under N2 gas flow. The prepared polymeric nanosponges were investigated by FTIR spectroscopy, elemental and thermogravimetric analyses to unravel the role played by the different molar ratio of the precursors in the formation of the polymer. The pyrolyzed nanosponges were investigated by means of porosity measurements, X-ray diffraction analysis, Raman spectroscopy and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. Notably, no significant correlation of the amounts of used precursors with the porous texture and structure was evidenced. The results corroborate that PMDA and GLU can be easily combined to prepare nanosponges and that the carbon materials produced by their pyrolysis can be associated with glassy carbons with a microporous texture and relatively high surface area. Such hard carbons can be easily obtained and shrewdly used to segregate relatively small molecules and organic contaminants; in this study methylene blue adsorption was investigated. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Raman Spectroscopy Investigation of Graphene Oxide Reduction by Laser Scribing
C 2021, 7(2), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/c7020048 - 17 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 745
Abstract
Laser scribing has been proposed as a fast and easy tool to reduce graphene oxide (GO) for a wide range of applications. Here, we investigate laser reduction of GO under a range of processing and material parameters, such as laser scan speed, number [...] Read more.
Laser scribing has been proposed as a fast and easy tool to reduce graphene oxide (GO) for a wide range of applications. Here, we investigate laser reduction of GO under a range of processing and material parameters, such as laser scan speed, number of laser passes, and material coverage. We use Raman spectroscopy for the characterization of the obtained materials. We demonstrate that laser scan speed is the most influential parameter, as a slower scan speed yields poor GO reduction. The number of laser passes is influential where the material coverage is higher, producing a significant improvement of GO reduction on a second pass. Material coverage is the least influential parameter, as it affects GO reduction only under restricted conditions. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Variable Temperature Synthesis of Tunable Flame-Generated Carbon Nanoparticles
C 2021, 7(2), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/c7020044 - 06 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 649
Abstract
In this study, flame-formed carbon nanoparticles of different nanostructures have been produced by changing the flame temperature. Raman spectroscopy has been used for the characterization of the carbon nanoparticles, while the particle size has been obtained by online measurements made by electrical mobility [...] Read more.
In this study, flame-formed carbon nanoparticles of different nanostructures have been produced by changing the flame temperature. Raman spectroscopy has been used for the characterization of the carbon nanoparticles, while the particle size has been obtained by online measurements made by electrical mobility analysis. The results show that, in agreement with recent literature data, a large variety of carbon nanoparticles, with a different degree of graphitization, can be produced by changing the flame temperature. This methodology allows for the synthesis of very small carbon nanoparticles with a size of about 3–4 nm and with different graphitic orders. Under the perspective of the material synthesis process, the variable-temperature flame-synthesis of carbon nanoparticles appears as an attractive procedure for a cost-effective and easily scalable production of highly tunable carbon nanoparticles. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Nanocomposite of Ellagic Acid with Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes for the Simultaneous Voltammetric Detection of Six Biomolecules
C 2021, 7(2), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/c7020043 - 03 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 630
Abstract
In this proof-of-concept study, a highly sensitive electrochemical sensor using a graphite paste electrode modified with ellagic acid and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MGPE/MWCNTs-EA) was developed for the simultaneous determination of six biomolecules: ascorbic acid (AA), dopamine (DA), uric acid (UA), tryptophan (Trp), xanthine [...] Read more.
In this proof-of-concept study, a highly sensitive electrochemical sensor using a graphite paste electrode modified with ellagic acid and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MGPE/MWCNTs-EA) was developed for the simultaneous determination of six biomolecules: ascorbic acid (AA), dopamine (DA), uric acid (UA), tryptophan (Trp), xanthine (XA), and caffeine (CA). Differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) was performed at a potential range from 0.1–1.2 V vs. Ag/AgCl in phosphate electrolyte (pH 2.0). The modified GPE enabled the simultaneous determination of biomolecules under investigation in human urine and blood serum samples with detection limits ranging from 11–91 nM with recoveries of 94.0–106.0%. The electrochemical performance of the modified GPE for the analytes was stable and reproducible and checked with standard high performance liquid chromatography technique. The data suggested that the modified GPE provided a promising platform for routine quantitative determination of the biomolecules under investigation in quality control studies of real samples collected from food and pharmaceutical products. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Polyamide 12/Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube and Carbon Black Nanocomposites Manufactured by 3D Printing Fused Filament Fabrication: A Comparison of the Electrical, Thermoelectric, and Mechanical Properties
C 2021, 7(2), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/c7020038 - 23 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 820
Abstract
In this study, nanocomposites with polyamide 12 (PA12) as the polymer matrix and multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and carbon black (CB) at different loadings (2.5, 5.0, and 10.0 wt.%) as fillers, were produced in 3D printing filament form by melt mixing extrusion process. [...] Read more.
In this study, nanocomposites with polyamide 12 (PA12) as the polymer matrix and multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and carbon black (CB) at different loadings (2.5, 5.0, and 10.0 wt.%) as fillers, were produced in 3D printing filament form by melt mixing extrusion process. The filament was then used to build specimens with the fused filament fabrication (FFF) three-dimensional (3D) printing process. The aim was to produce by FFF 3D printing, electrically conductive and thermoelectric functional specimens with enhanced mechanical properties. All nanocomposites’ samples were electrically conductive at filler loadings above the electrical percolation threshold. The highest thermoelectric performance was obtained for the PA12/CNT nanocomposite at 10.0 wt.%. The static tensile and flexural mechanical properties, as well as the Charpy’s impact and Vickers microhardness, were determined. The highest improvement in mechanical properties was observed for the PA12/CNT nanocomposites at 5.0 wt.% filler loading. The fracture mechanisms were identified by fractographic analyses of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images acquired from fractured surfaces of tensile tested specimens. The nanocomposites produced could find a variety of applications such as; 3D-printed organic thermoelectric materials for plausible large-scale thermal energy harvesting applications, resistors for flexible circuitry, and piezoresistive sensors for strain sensing. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Impact of Graphene or Reduced Graphene Oxide on Performance of Thermoelectric Composites
C 2021, 7(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/c7020037 - 21 Apr 2021
Viewed by 733
Abstract
In recent years, worldwide research has been focused on clean and sustainable energy sources that can respond to the exponentially rising energy demands of humankind. The harvesting of unused heat in relation to automotive exhaustion, industrial processes, and home heating is one possible [...] Read more.
In recent years, worldwide research has been focused on clean and sustainable energy sources that can respond to the exponentially rising energy demands of humankind. The harvesting of unused heat in relation to automotive exhaustion, industrial processes, and home heating is one possible way of enabling the transformation from a fossil fuel-based society to a low-carbon socioeconomic epoch. Thermoelectric (TE) generators can convert heat to electrical energy thanks to high-performance TE materials that work via Seebeck effects when electricity appears between the cold part and the hot part of these materials. High figure of merit (ZT) TE material is characterized by high electrical conductivity and Seebeck coefficient, together with low thermal conductivity. This article aims to summarize ZT values reported for chalcogenides, skutterudites, and metal oxides with graphene (G) or reduced graphene oxide (rGO), and intends to understand the relationship between the addition of G-rGO to composites and ZT variation. In a majority of the publications, ZT value increases with the addition of G/rGO, although the relative growth of ZT varies for different material families, as well as inside the same group of materials, with it often being related not to a G/rGO amount but with the quality of the composite. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Preparation of Pt/CNT Thin-Film Electrodes by Electrochemical Potential Pulse Deposition for Methanol Oxidation
C 2021, 7(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/c7020032 - 26 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 784
Abstract
High-quality performance of catalysts is increasingly required to meet industry exigencies. However, chemical synthesis is often insufficient to maximize the potential properties of the catalysts. On the other hand, electrochemical synthesis has arisen as a promising alternative to overcome these limitations and provide [...] Read more.
High-quality performance of catalysts is increasingly required to meet industry exigencies. However, chemical synthesis is often insufficient to maximize the potential properties of the catalysts. On the other hand, electrochemical synthesis has arisen as a promising alternative to overcome these limitations and provide precise control in the preparation of catalysts. In this sense, this work involved the well-controlled electrochemical synthesis of a catalyst based on platinum nanoparticle deposition on carbon nanotubes using only electrochemical treatments. Thin films of functionalized carbon nanotubes were cast onto the surface of a glassy carbon electrode using potential pulsed electrodeposition, resulting in a better distribution of the carbon nanotubes on the electrode when comparing with traditional methods. Then, platinum nanoparticles were electrodeposited on the carbon nanotube-modified electrode. To check the performance of the catalyst and the relevance of the electrochemical synthesis treatments, the samples were analyzed as electrocatalysts towards methanol electrooxidation, showing an important improvement in the catalytic activity in comparison with electrodes that were prepared by traditional methodologies. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Review
sp2 Carbon Stable Radicals
C 2021, 7(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/c7020031 - 26 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 852
Abstract
sp2 Nanocarbons such as fullerenes, carbon nanotubes, and graphene molecules are not only open-shell species, but spatially extended, due to which their chemistry is quite specific. Cogently revealed dependence of the final products composition on size and shape of the carbons in [...] Read more.
sp2 Nanocarbons such as fullerenes, carbon nanotubes, and graphene molecules are not only open-shell species, but spatially extended, due to which their chemistry is quite specific. Cogently revealed dependence of the final products composition on size and shape of the carbons in use as well as on the chemical prehistory is accumulated in a particular property—the stabilization of the species’ radical efficiency, thus providing the matter of stable radicals. If the feature is highly restricted and rarely available in ordinary chemistry, in the case of sp2 nanocarbons it is just an ordinary event providing, say, tons-in-mass stable radicals when either producing such widely used technological products as carbon black or dealing with deposits of natural sp2 carbons such as anthracite, shungite carbon, and other. Suggested in the paper is the consideration of stable radicals of sp2 nanocarbons from the standpoint of spin-delocalized topochemistry. Characterized in terms of the total and atomically partitioned number of effectively unpaired electrons as well as of the distribution of the latter over carbon atoms and described by selectively determined barriers of different reactions exhibiting topological essence of intermolecular interaction, sp2 nanocarbons reveal a peculiar topokinetics that lays the foundation of the stability of their radical properties. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Impact of Nitrogen, Boron and Phosphorus Impurities on the Electronic Structure of Diamond Probed by X-ray Spectroscopies
C 2021, 7(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/c7010028 - 09 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1085
Abstract
Doping diamond with boron, nitrogen or phosphorus enables a fine tuning of its electronic properties, which is particularly relevant for applications involving electron emission. However, the chemical nature of the doping sites and its correlation with electron emission properties remain to be clarified. [...] Read more.
Doping diamond with boron, nitrogen or phosphorus enables a fine tuning of its electronic properties, which is particularly relevant for applications involving electron emission. However, the chemical nature of the doping sites and its correlation with electron emission properties remain to be clarified. In this work, we applied soft X-ray spectroscopy techniques to probe occupied and unoccupied electronic states in undoped, boron-, phosphorus- and nitrogen-containing single crystal diamonds. X-ray absorption, X-ray emission and X-ray photoemission spectroscopies, performed at the carbon K-edge, provide a full picture of new electronic states created by impurities in diamond. The different probing depths of fluorescence- and electron-based detection techniques enable a comparison between surface and bulk contributions. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Stabilization and Carbonization of PAN Nanofiber Mats Electrospun on Metal Substrates
C 2021, 7(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/c7010012 - 27 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 854
Abstract
Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) nanofiber mats are typical precursors for carbon nanofibers. They can be fixed or even elongated during stabilization and subsequent carbonization to gain straight, mechanically robust carbon nanofibers. These processes necessitate additional equipment or are—if the nanofiber mats are just fixed at [...] Read more.
Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) nanofiber mats are typical precursors for carbon nanofibers. They can be fixed or even elongated during stabilization and subsequent carbonization to gain straight, mechanically robust carbon nanofibers. These processes necessitate additional equipment or are—if the nanofiber mats are just fixed at the edges—prone to resulting in the specimens breaking, due to an uneven force distribution. Hence, we showed in a previous study that electrospinning PAN on aluminum foils and stabilizing them fixed on these substrates, is a suitable solution to keep the desired morphology after stabilization and incipient carbonization. Here, we report on the influence of different metallic and semiconductor substrates on the physical and chemical properties of the nanofiber mats after stabilization and carbonization at temperatures up to 1200 °C. For stabilization on a metal substrate, an optimum stabilization temperature of slightly above 240 °C was found, approached with a heating rate of 0.25 K/min. Independent from the substrate material, SEM images revealed less defect fibers in the nanofiber mats stabilized and incipiently carbonized on a metal foil. Finally, high-temperature carbonization on different substrates is shown to allow for producing metal/carbon nano-composites. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Surface Charge Effects on Adsorption of Solutes by Poplar and Elm Biochars
C 2021, 7(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/c7010011 - 26 Jan 2021
Viewed by 582
Abstract
Elm and poplar are two tree species that can provide a large amount of low-value feedstock for biochar production due to their rapid growth rate (poplar), and susceptibility to disease and/or infestation (both elm and poplar). Biochar has been studied recently as filtration [...] Read more.
Elm and poplar are two tree species that can provide a large amount of low-value feedstock for biochar production due to their rapid growth rate (poplar), and susceptibility to disease and/or infestation (both elm and poplar). Biochar has been studied recently as filtration medium for water purification, as it provides a renewable alternative to activated carbon. In this work, the adsorption efficiency of biochars made from elm and poplar as a function of pyrolysis temperature were studied by ultraviolet (UV) adsorption of dyes with positive, neutral, and negative charges to determine what factors had the greatest effect on adsorption of these dyes. It was found that conductivity of the biochars increased with pyrolysis temperature, and that this factor was more important than surface area in terms of adsorbing charged dyes. Both elm and poplar biochars were not effective in adsorbing neutral dyes. This research demonstrates that elm and poplar biochars adsorb charged (either positively or negatively) solutes more efficiently than uncharged ones because they carry both charges themselves. Therefore, these biochars would make excellent candidates as renewable filtration media for charged contaminants. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Asymmetric Supercapacitors: Optical and Thermal Effects When Active Carbon Electrodes Are Embedded with Nano-Scale Semiconductor Dots
C 2021, 7(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/c7010007 - 15 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 686
Abstract
Optical and thermal effects in asymmetric supercapacitors, whose active-carbon (AC) electrodes were embedded with nano-Si (n-Si) quantum dots (QD), are reported. We describe two structures: (1) p-n-like, obtained by using a polyethylimine (PEI) binder for the “n” electrode and a polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) binder [...] Read more.
Optical and thermal effects in asymmetric supercapacitors, whose active-carbon (AC) electrodes were embedded with nano-Si (n-Si) quantum dots (QD), are reported. We describe two structures: (1) p-n-like, obtained by using a polyethylimine (PEI) binder for the “n” electrode and a polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) binder for the “p” electrode; (2) a single component binder—poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA). In general, AC appears black to the naked eye and one may assume that it indiscriminately absorbs all light spectra. However, on top of a flat lossy spectrum, AC (from two manufacturers) exhibited two distinct absorption bands: one in the blue (~400 nm) and the other one in the near IR (~840 nm). The n-Si material accentuated the absorption in the blue and bleached the IR absorption. Both bands contributed to capacitance increase: (a) when using aqueous solution and a PMMA binder, the optical-related increased capacitance was 20% for low n-Si concentration and more than 100% for a high-concentration dose; (b) when using ion liquid (IL) electrolyte, the large, thermal capacitance increase (of ca. 40%) was comparable to the optical effect (of ca. 42%) and hence was assigned as an optically induced thermal effect. The experimental data point to an optically induced capacitance increase even in the absence of the n-Si dots. Overall, the experimental data suggest intriguing possibilities for optically controlled supercapacitors. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
First-Principles Study of the Electronic Properties and Thermal Expansivity of a Hybrid 2D Carbon and Boron Nitride Material
C 2021, 7(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/c7010005 - 12 Jan 2021
Viewed by 704
Abstract
In an attempt to push the boundary of miniaturization, there has been a rising interest in two-dimensional (2D) semiconductors with superior electronic, mechanical, and thermal properties as alternatives for silicon-based devices. Due to their fascinating properties resulting from lowering dimensionality, hexagonal boron nitride [...] Read more.
In an attempt to push the boundary of miniaturization, there has been a rising interest in two-dimensional (2D) semiconductors with superior electronic, mechanical, and thermal properties as alternatives for silicon-based devices. Due to their fascinating properties resulting from lowering dimensionality, hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) and graphene are considered promising candidates to be used in the next generation of high-performance devices. However, neither h-BN nor graphene is a semiconductor due to a zero bandgap in the one case and a too large bandgap in the other case. Here, we demonstrate from first-principles calculations that a hybrid 2D material formed by cross-linking alternating chains of carbon and boron nitride (HCBN) shows promising characteristics combining the thermal merits of graphene and h-BN while possessing the electronic structure characteristic of a semiconductor. Our calculations demonstrate that the thermal properties of HCBN are comparable to those of h-BN and graphene (parent systems). HCBN is dynamically stable and has a bandgap of 2.43 eV. At low temperatures, it exhibits smaller thermal contraction than the parent systems. However, beyond room temperature, in contrast to the parent systems, it has a positive but finitely small linear-thermal expansion coefficient. The calculated isothermal bulk modulus indicates that at high temperatures, HCBN is less compressible, whereas at low temperatures it is more compressible relative to the parent systems. The results of our study are important for the rational design of a 2D semiconductor with good thermal properties. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

2020

Jump to: 2021

Review
Nanostructured Graphene Oxide-Based Hybrids as Anodes for Lithium-Ion Batteries
C 2020, 6(4), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/c6040081 - 16 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1117
Abstract
Presently, the negative electrodes of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) are constituted by carbon-based materials, which exhibit a limited specific capacity 372 mAh g−1 associated with the cycle in the composition between C and LiC6. Therefore, many efforts are currently made towards [...] Read more.
Presently, the negative electrodes of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) are constituted by carbon-based materials, which exhibit a limited specific capacity 372 mAh g−1 associated with the cycle in the composition between C and LiC6. Therefore, many efforts are currently made towards the technological development of nanostructured graphene materials because of their extraordinary mechanical, electrical, and electrochemical properties. Recent progress on advanced hybrids based on graphene oxide (GO) and reduced graphene oxide (rGO) has demonstrated the synergistic effects between graphene and an electroactive material (silicon, germanium, metal oxides (MOx)) as electrode for electrochemical devices. In this review, attention is focused on advanced materials based on GO and rGO and their composites used as anode materials for lithium-ion batteries. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
A Study on the Effect of Carbon Nanotubes’ Distribution and Agglomeration in the Free Vibration of Nanocomposite Plates
C 2020, 6(4), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/c6040079 - 30 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 872
Abstract
The present work aimed to characterize the free vibrations’ behaviour of nanocomposite plates obtained by incorporating graded distributions of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in a polymeric matrix, considering the carbon nanotubes’ agglomeration effect. This effect is known to degrade material properties, therefore being important [...] Read more.
The present work aimed to characterize the free vibrations’ behaviour of nanocomposite plates obtained by incorporating graded distributions of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in a polymeric matrix, considering the carbon nanotubes’ agglomeration effect. This effect is known to degrade material properties, therefore being important to predict the consequences it may bring to structures’ mechanical performance. To this purpose, the elastic properties’ estimation is performed according to the two-parameter agglomeration model based on the Eshelby–Mori–Tanaka approach for randomly dispersed nano-inclusions. This approach is implemented in association with the finite element method to determine the natural frequencies and corresponding mode shapes. Three main agglomeration cases were considered, namely, agglomeration absence, complete agglomeration, and partial agglomeration. The results show that the agglomeration effect has a negative impact on the natural frequencies of the plates, regardless the CNTs’ distribution considered. For the corresponding vibrations’ mode shapes, the agglomeration effect was shown in most cases not to have a significant impact, except for two of the cases studied: for a square plate and a rectangular plate with symmetrical and unsymmetrical CNTs’ distribution, respectively. Globally, the results confirm that not accounting for the nanotubes’ agglomeration effect may lead to less accurate elastic properties and less structures’ performance predictions. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Nitrate Catalytic Reduction over Bimetallic Catalysts: Catalyst Optimization
C 2020, 6(4), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/c6040078 - 28 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1026
Abstract
The catalytic removal of nitrate (NO3) in water using hydrogen as a reducing agent was studied using palladium-copper bimetallic catalysts in different supports. Commercial carbon nanotubes (CNTs), used as received and with different mechanical (CNT (BM 2h)) and chemical modifications [...] Read more.
The catalytic removal of nitrate (NO3) in water using hydrogen as a reducing agent was studied using palladium-copper bimetallic catalysts in different supports. Commercial carbon nanotubes (CNTs), used as received and with different mechanical (CNT (BM 2h)) and chemical modifications (CNT (BM 4h)-N), titanium dioxide (TiO2) and composite materials (TiO2-CNT) were considered as main supports for the metallic phase. Different metal loadings were studied to synthesize an optimized catalyst with high NO3 conversion rate and considerable selectivity for N2 formation. Among all the studied support materials, the milled carbon nanotubes (sample CNT (BM 2h) was the support that showed the most promising results using 1%Pd-1%Cu as metallic phases. The most active catalysts were 2.5%Pd-2.5%Cu and 5%Pd-2.5%Cu supported on CNT (BM 2h), achieving total conversion after a 120 min reaction with N2 selectivity values of 62% and 60%, respectively. Reutilization experiments allowed us to conclude that these catalysts were stable during several reactions, in terms of NO3 conversion rate. However, the consecutive reuse of the catalyst leads to major changes concerning NH4+ selectivity values. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Communication
Bacteria Supported on Carbon-Coated Monoliths for Water Denitrification
C 2020, 6(4), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/c6040077 - 24 Nov 2020
Viewed by 1221
Abstract
Escherichia coli bacteria were grown inside the channels of cordierite monoliths previously coated with a very good adhered carbon layer. These monolithic structures were tested at room temperature for the nitrate elimination of water solutions working as a batch monolithic bioreactor and showed [...] Read more.
Escherichia coli bacteria were grown inside the channels of cordierite monoliths previously coated with a very good adhered carbon layer. These monolithic structures were tested at room temperature for the nitrate elimination of water solutions working as a batch monolithic bioreactor and showed very good results, as 100% of the nitrates and nitrites were completely removed in the used experimental conditions. Different rate flows of bacteria growth and nitrate elimination were studied, showing that the higher the flow velocity, the faster the nitrate elimination. Finally, the reproducibility tests confirmed the good performance of the proposed bioreactor. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
New Insights into H2S Adsorption on Graphene and Graphene-Like Structures: A Comparative DFT Study
C 2020, 6(4), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/c6040074 - 09 Nov 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1485
Abstract
The efficient removal of pollutants from different environments has been one of the great challenges for scientists in recent years. However, the understanding of the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon is still the subject of passionate debates, mainly due to the lack of experimental [...] Read more.
The efficient removal of pollutants from different environments has been one of the great challenges for scientists in recent years. However, the understanding of the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon is still the subject of passionate debates, mainly due to the lack of experimental tools capable of detecting events at the atomic scale. Herein, a comparative theoretical study was carried out to capture the adsorption of H2S on metal oxide surfaces such as zinc oxide (ZnO) and beryllium oxide (BeO), as well as graphene and Ni-decorated graphene. A simulation based on density-functional theory (DFT) was carried out by adopting General Gradient Approximation (GGA) under the Perdew–Burke–Ernzerhof (PBE) function. The calculations quantified H2S adsorption on the considered metal oxide sheets as well as on the non-decorated graphene having a physical nature. In contrast, H2S adsorbed on Ni-decorated graphene sheet gave an adsorption energy of −1.64 eV due to the interaction of S and Ni atoms through the formation of a covalent bond, proof of chemisorption. It seems that the graphene sheet decorated with Ni atoms is a more suitable adsorbent for H2S molecules than BeO, ZnO, or non-decorated graphene, providing a theoretical basis for future studies. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Carbon Nanodots Synthesized from Dunaliella salina as Sun Protection Filters
C 2020, 6(4), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/c6040069 - 30 Oct 2020
Viewed by 991
Abstract
Carbon nanodots (CNDs) are more and more being exploited for various applications including biological ones. To this end, they have been thoroughly studied for their potential as antibacterial, wound healing, and bioimaging agents. In this study, we examined the sun protection properties of [...] Read more.
Carbon nanodots (CNDs) are more and more being exploited for various applications including biological ones. To this end, they have been thoroughly studied for their potential as antibacterial, wound healing, and bioimaging agents. In this study, we examined the sun protection properties of CNDs. Dunaliella salina was selected as a promising precursor for the synthesis of CNDs which were compared with those produced by citric acid, a widely used precursor for such materials. The CNDs were examined spectrophotometrically, and the sun protection factors were calculated. Additionally, in vitro experiments were carried out to evaluate their UV protection properties and to obtain better insight into whether CNDs are suitable to be used as filters for the development of new sunscreens. The results were conclusive that both CNDs possess favorable properties that potentiate their use for the development of sunscreens. However, the CNDs from Dunaliella salina were found to be superior to those derived from citric acid. Therefore, they can further be exploited as sun protection filters. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Electrochemical Aspects of a Nitrogen-Doped Pseudo-Graphitic Carbon Material: Resistance to Electrode Fouling by Air-Aging and Dopamine Electro-Oxidation
C 2020, 6(4), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/c6040068 - 27 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 908
Abstract
The nitrogen-doped form of GUITAR (pseudo-Graphite from the University of Idaho Thermalized Asphalt Reaction) was examined by X-ray photoelectron, Raman, and X-ray diffraction spectroscopies and cyclic voltammetry (CV). Electrochemical studies indicate that N-GUITAR exhibits significant resistance to fouling by adsorption and by passivation. [...] Read more.
The nitrogen-doped form of GUITAR (pseudo-Graphite from the University of Idaho Thermalized Asphalt Reaction) was examined by X-ray photoelectron, Raman, and X-ray diffraction spectroscopies and cyclic voltammetry (CV). Electrochemical studies indicate that N-GUITAR exhibits significant resistance to fouling by adsorption and by passivation. Unlike other carbon materials, it maintains fast heterogenous electron transfer (HET) kinetics with Fe(CN)63−/4− with exposure to air. The CV peak potential separation (ΔEp) of 66 mV increased to 69 mV in 3 h vs. 67 to 221 mV for a highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) electrode. Water contact angle measurements indicate that N-GUITAR was able to better maintain a hydrophilic state during the 3-h exposure, going from 55.8 to 70.4° while HOPG increased from 63.8 to 80.1°. This indicates that N-GUITAR better resisted adsorption of volatile organic compounds. CV studies of dopamine also indicate N-GUITAR is resistant to passivation. The ΔEp for the dopamine/o-dopaminoquinone couple is 83 mV indicating fast HET rates. This is reflected in the peak current ratios for the oxidation and reduction processes of 1.3 indicating that o-dopaminoquinone is not lost to passivation processes. This ratio along with the minimal signal attenuation is the best reported in literature. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Review
Mechanisms of Carbon Nanotubes and Graphene Growth: Kinetics versus Thermodynamics
C 2020, 6(4), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/c6040067 - 27 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 858
Abstract
Thermodynamics must be favorable for the growth of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene to take place, but a kinetic study is required to find the operating mechanism. In fact, thermodynamics indicates whether a reaction is possible; however, the route prevailing is not necessarily [...] Read more.
Thermodynamics must be favorable for the growth of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene to take place, but a kinetic study is required to find the operating mechanism. In fact, thermodynamics indicates whether a reaction is possible; however, the route prevailing is not necessarily the most thermodynamically favorable, but the fastest one. Detailed kinetic studies state that there are three alternative routes operating under different temperature and pressure rates. The modes and rates of diffusion of carbon (C) atoms and noble metals have been known since the 1930s, but proof of C bulk diffusion operating in CNT growth came from detailed kinetic studies performed in the early 1970s, when reversible versus irreversible C formation was discussed with examples. The reason for interstitial C bulk diffusion in transition metals is evidenced based on the values of covalent radius. The reason for operating under steady-state conditions (linearity of the weight versus time) when searching for the operating mechanism is discussed herein. The steady-state C formation process operates sometimes with two different solid phases at each side of the catalyst particle (e.g., Ni and Ni3C), with thicknesses proportional to 1/D of the respective C bulk diffusivities when the carbon bulk diffusion step is the rate-determining one. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Characterization of Molecular Spacer-Functionalized Nanostructured Carbons for Electrical Energy Storage Supercapacitor Materials
C 2020, 6(4), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/c6040066 - 23 Oct 2020
Viewed by 954
Abstract
The use of molecular spacers between Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) has been shown to increase the ion-accessible surface area for use in supercapacitor materials. Maintaining porosity and electrical conductivity is important for maximizing capacitance, energy storage, and power. Two reported novel coordination complexes have [...] Read more.
The use of molecular spacers between Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) has been shown to increase the ion-accessible surface area for use in supercapacitor materials. Maintaining porosity and electrical conductivity is important for maximizing capacitance, energy storage, and power. Two reported novel coordination complexes have shown exceptional Faradaic charge transfer and binding capabilities to prevent CNT aggregation. Dispersion stability measurements show less aggregation of HiPco Single Walled CNTs (SWCNTs) compared to other chirality and multilayered nanotubes. Cu2FcOH binds weakly to CNTs compared +2Zn2 and +2Ru2 due to Columbic electrostatic interactions, which is favorable because it does not collapse the electrical double layer as strongly as +2Zn2 or +2Ru2. Adsorption isotherms and a full characterization (1H NMR, ATR FT-IR, UV-Vis, CV) of these novel complexes are presented. Electrical characterization using CV, charge discharge, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and the supercapacitor performance of functionalized thin film electrodes are presented as a function of spacer properties and nanostructured carbon tube diameter. This study uses rigid, earth-abundant coordination complexes that bind to and intercalate between SWCNTs. These functionalized nanostructured carbons are then used to make electrodes for electrical double layer supercapacitors. A complete description of the synthesis, characterization, and processing of these materials is described. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Improving the Activity of Fe/C/N ORR Electrocatalyst Using Double Ammonia Promoted CO2 Laser Pyrolysis
C 2020, 6(4), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/c6040063 - 14 Oct 2020
Viewed by 1077
Abstract
Recently, we reported the use of CO2 laser pyrolysis for the synthesis of promising Fe/C/N electrocatalysts for Oxygen Reduction Reaction (ORR) in fuel cells. The set-up used single laser pyrolysis of an aerosolized solution of iron acetylacetonate in toluene with ammonia, both [...] Read more.
Recently, we reported the use of CO2 laser pyrolysis for the synthesis of promising Fe/C/N electrocatalysts for Oxygen Reduction Reaction (ORR) in fuel cells. The set-up used single laser pyrolysis of an aerosolized solution of iron acetylacetonate in toluene with ammonia, both as laser energy transfer agent and nitrogen source. In the present paper, we investigate the effect of a second ammonia promoted CO2 laser pyrolysis on the feature and ORR activity of Fe/C/N electrocatalysts. Indeed, compared to single pyrolysis, the second ammonia promoted CO2 laser pyrolysis could be an interesting way to synthesize in one-step performing ORR electrocatalysts on a large scale. For this comparison, a two-stage reactor was built, allowing both single ammonia-induced CO2 laser pyrolysis as reported previously or double ammonia-induced CO2 laser pyrolysis. In the latter configuration, the catalyst nanopowder flow is formed at the first stage of the reactor, then mixed with a second ammonia flow and allowed to cross a second CO2 laser beam, thus undergoing a second ammonia-induced CO2 laser pyrolysis before being collected on filters. It is found that the second ammonia-induced CO2 laser pyrolysis significantly improves the ORR performances of the materials prepared by single CO2 laser pyrolysis. The effect is demonstrated for three different catalysts for which the onset potentials for the ORR from single-stage to double-stage configuration increase from 625 mV to 845 mV, 790 mV to 860 mV, and 800 mV to 885 mV, respectively. The selectivity of the ORR was determined at 600 mV/SHE and lie between 3.41 and 3.72. These promising performances suggesting potentialities for the one-step formation of highly active Fe/C/N ORR electrocatalysts are discussed, based on results of surface analysis by XPS, specific surface area measurements, and Raman spectroscopy. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Facile Method to Prepare pH-Sensitive PEI-Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes as Rationally Designed Vehicles for Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) Delivery
C 2020, 6(4), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/c6040062 - 07 Oct 2020
Viewed by 815
Abstract
A new pH-sensitive system designed for drug-delivery purposes and based on functionalized multiwall magnetic carbon nanotubes (Mag-CNTs) was synthesized for the effective incorporation of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aiming at drug release in characteristic acidic conditions close to the actual conditions of inflamed [...] Read more.
A new pH-sensitive system designed for drug-delivery purposes and based on functionalized multiwall magnetic carbon nanotubes (Mag-CNTs) was synthesized for the effective incorporation of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aiming at drug release in characteristic acidic conditions close to the actual conditions of inflamed tissues. Cationic hyperbranched polyethyleneimine (PEI) was immobilized on the surface of Mag-CNTs via electrostatic interactions between the positively charged protonated amines within the polymer and the carboxyl groups on the chemically oxidized Mag-CNT surface. The addition of the NSAID with a carboxylate donor, Naproxen (NAP), was achieved by indirect coupling through the amino groups of the intermediate linker PEI. FT-IR, Raman, and UV–vis spectroscopy were employed to fully characterize the synthesized nanocarrier and its functionalization procedure. The interaction of the designed nanocarrier with bovine serum albumin (BSA) was studied in vitro by fluorescence emission spectroscopy while its in vitro interaction with calf-thymus (CT) DNA was monitored by UV–vis spectroscopy and viscosity measurements and via competitive studies with ethidium bromide. The calculated binding constants were compared to those of free NAP revealing a higher binding affinity for BSA and CT DNA. Finally, drug-release studies were performed, revealing that the electrostatic linkage ensures an effective release of the drug in the acidic pH typical of inflamed cells, while maintaining the multiwall nanotubes (MWNTs)–drug conjugates stable at the typical bloodstream. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Hypergolic Materials Synthesis through Reaction of Fuming Nitric Acid with Certain Cyclopentadienyl Compounds
C 2020, 6(4), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/c6040061 - 05 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1096
Abstract
Recently we have shown the importance of hypergolic reactions in carbon materials synthesis. However, hypergolic reactions could be certainly expanded beyond carbon synthesis, offering a general preparative pathway towards a larger variety of materials. Cyclopentadienyls are one of the most common ligands in [...] Read more.
Recently we have shown the importance of hypergolic reactions in carbon materials synthesis. However, hypergolic reactions could be certainly expanded beyond carbon synthesis, offering a general preparative pathway towards a larger variety of materials. Cyclopentadienyls are one of the most common ligands in organometallic chemistry that react hypergolicly on contact with strong oxidizers. By also considering the plethora of cyclopentadienyl compounds existing today, herein we demonstrate the potential of such compounds in hypergolic materials synthesis in general (carbon or inorganic). In a first example, we show that cyclopentadienyllithium reacts hypergolicly with fuming nitric acid to produce carbon. In a second one, we show that ferrocene and cobaltocene also react hypergolicly with the concentrated acid to afford magnetic inorganic materials, such as γ-Fe2O3 and metallic Co, respectively. The present results further emphasize the importance and universal character of hypergolic reactions in materials science synthesis, as an interesting new alternative to other existing and well-established preparative methods. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Review
Tetrel Bonding Interactions Involving Carbon at Work: Recent Advances in Crystal Engineering and Catalysis
C 2020, 6(4), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/c6040060 - 25 Sep 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1111
Abstract
The σ- and π-hole interactions are used to define attractive forces involving elements of groups 12–18 of the periodic table acting as Lewis acids and any electron rich site (Lewis base, anion, and π-system). When the electrophilic atom belongs to group 14, the [...] Read more.
The σ- and π-hole interactions are used to define attractive forces involving elements of groups 12–18 of the periodic table acting as Lewis acids and any electron rich site (Lewis base, anion, and π-system). When the electrophilic atom belongs to group 14, the resulting interaction is termed a tetrel bond. In the first part of this feature paper, tetrel bonds formed in crystalline solids involving sp3-hybridized carbon atom are described and discussed by using selected structures retrieved from the Cambridge Structural Database. The interaction is characterized by a strong directionality (close to linearity) due to the small size of the σ-hole in the C-atom opposite the covalently bonded electron withdrawing group. The second part describes the utilization of two allotropic forms of carbon (C60 and carbon nanotubes) as supramolecular catalysts based on anion–π interactions (π-hole tetrel bonding). This part emphasizes that the π-hole, which is considerably more accessible by nucleophiles than the σ-hole, can be conveniently used in supramolecular catalysis. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Heterogeneous Organo- and Metal Catalysis Using Phosphine Oxide Derivatives Anchored on Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes
C 2020, 6(3), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/c6030057 - 21 Sep 2020
Viewed by 1004
Abstract
Oxidized multiwalled carbon nanotubes were modified anchoring phosphine oxides and used as heterogeneous catalysts. A proper substitution of the phosphine oxides allowed the use of the Tour reaction and the nitrene cycloaddition to obtain functionalized carbon nanotubes (CNT) with a loading up to [...] Read more.
Oxidized multiwalled carbon nanotubes were modified anchoring phosphine oxides and used as heterogeneous catalysts. A proper substitution of the phosphine oxides allowed the use of the Tour reaction and the nitrene cycloaddition to obtain functionalized carbon nanotubes (CNT) with a loading up to 0.73 mmol/g of material. The catalysts proved efficient in Wittig reactions, Mitsunobu reactions, and Staudinger ligations. Furthermore, the phosphorus decorated CNT were used to produce nanocomposite with Pd nanoparticles able to catalyze Heck reactions. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Nitrogen Doped Superactivated Carbons Prepared at Mild Conditions as Electrodes for Supercapacitors in Organic Electrolyte
C 2020, 6(3), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/c6030056 - 20 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 913
Abstract
Nitrogen functionalization of a highly microporous activated carbon (SBET > 3000 m2/g), to be used as electrode of electric double layer capacitor (EDLC), was carried out by different methods based on organic chemistry protocols at low temperature and selective thermal [...] Read more.
Nitrogen functionalization of a highly microporous activated carbon (SBET > 3000 m2/g), to be used as electrode of electric double layer capacitor (EDLC), was carried out by different methods based on organic chemistry protocols at low temperature and selective thermal post-treatments under inert atmosphere. The combination of both methods allowed the production of carbon materials with very similar surface area (2400–3000 m2/g) and different surface chemistry. The nitrogen functionalization by chemical methods produce the attachment of 4 at. % N (XPS) by consumption of oxygen functional groups. The thermal treatments rearrange the surface chemistry by decreasing and converting both nitrogen and oxygen moieties. The effect of surface chemistry on the performance of these materials as electrodes for symmetric supercapacitors was analyzed in organic electrolyte (1M TEMABF4/propylene carbonate). The devices showed high gravimetric capacitance (37–40 F/g) and gravimetric energy density (31–37 Wh/kg). The electrochemical stability of the EDLC was evaluated by a floating test under severe conditions of voltage and temperature. The results evidence an improvement of the durability of nitrogen-doped activated carbons modified by chemical treatments due to the decrease of detrimental oxygen functionalities and the generation of nitrogen groups with higher electrochemical stability. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Back to TopTop