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Keywords:

  • carbon;
  • edges;
  • electron microscopy;
  • energy storage;
  • supercapacitor

Abstract

Supercapacitors can store and deliver energy by a simple charge separation, and thus they could be an attractive option to meet transient high energy density in operating fuel cells and in electric and hybrid electric vehicles. To achieve such requirements, intensive studies have been carried out to improve the volumetric capacitance in supercapacitors using various types and forms of carbons including carbon nanotubes and graphenes. However, conventional porous carbons are not suitable for use as electrode material in supercapacitors for such high energy density applications. Here, we show that edge-enriched porous carbons are the best electrode material for high energy density supercapacitors to be used in vehicles as an auxiliary powertrain. Molten potassium hydroxide penetrates well-aligned graphene layers vertically and consequently generates both suitable pores that are easily accessible to the electrolyte and a large fraction of electrochemically active edge sites. We expect that our findings will motivate further research related to energy storage devices and also environmentally friendly electric vehicles.