Carbon materials have attracted intense interests as electrode materials for electrochemical capacitors, because of their high surface area, electrical conductivity, chemical stability and low cost. Activated carbons produced by different activation processes from various precursors are the most widely used electrodes. Recently, with the rapid growth of nanotechnology, nanostructured electrode materials, such as carbon nanotubes and template-synthesized porous carbons have been developed. Their unique electrical properties and well controlled pore sizes and structures facilitate fast ion and electron transportation. In order to further improve the power and energy densities of the capacitors, carbon-based composites combining electrical double layer capacitors (EDLC)-capacitance and pseudo-capacitance have been explored. They show not only enhanced capacitance, but as well good cyclability. In this review, recent progresses on carbon-based electrode materials are summarized, including activated carbons, carbon nanotubes, and template-synthesized porous carbons, in particular mesoporous carbons. Their advantages and disadvantages as electrochemical capacitors are discussed. At the end of this review, the future trends of electrochemical capacitors with high energy and power are proposed.
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