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Keywords:

  • carbide derived carbon;
  • electrospinning;
  • nano-felt;
  • supercapacitor;
  • titanium carbide

Abstract

Nano-fibrous felts (nano-felts) of carbide-derived carbon (CDC) have been developed from the precursor of electrospun titanium carbide (TiC) nano-felts. Conformal transformation of TiC into CDC conserves main features of the precursor including the high interconnectivity and structural integrity; the developed TiC-CDC nano-felts are mechanically flexible/resilient, and can be used as electrode material for supercapacitor application without the addition of any binder. After synthesis through chlorination of the precursor at 600 °C, the TiC-CDC nano-fibers show an average pore size of ∼1nm, a high specific surface area of 1390 m2/g; and the nano-fibers have graphitic carbon ribbons embedded in a highly disordered carbon matrix. Graphitic carbon is preserved from the precursor nano-fibers where a few graphene layers surround TiC nanocrystallites. Electrochemical measurements show a high gravimetric capacitance of 110 F/g in aqueous electrolyte (1 M H2SO4) and 65 F/g in organic electrolyte (1.5 M TEA-BF4 in acetonitrile). Because of the unique microstructure of TiC-CDC nano-felts, a fade of the capacitance of merely 50% at a high scan rate of 5 V/s is observed. A fade of just 15% is observed for nano-felt film electrodes tested in 1 M H2 SO4 at 1 V/s, resulting in a high gravimetric capacitance of 94 F/g. Such a high rate performance is only known for graphene or carbon-onion based supercapacitors, whereas binders have to be used for the fabrication of those supercapacitors.