BACKGROUND: Recently, various composites of carbon nanomaterials and conducting polymers have been actively investigated as potential electrode materials for supercapacitors which can store and deliver large amounts of electrical energy promptly. Harsh chemical or complex electrodeposition methods have been studied to prepare such composites. In this report, the mild and simple enzymatic catalysis of horseradish peroxidase (EC 188.8.131.52) in aqueous solutions (pH 4.0) was utilized for the first time to prepare composites of multiwalled carbon nanotubes and polypyrrole.
RESULTS: Electron micrographs show that in situ enzymatic reaction by horseradish peroxidase enables the uniform coating of multiwalled carbon nanotubes with polypyrrole without containing the polymer aggregates. The specific capacitance of the composites (46.2 F g−1) measured with a two-electrode cell containing an electrolyte of 1 mol L−1 NaNO3 increased more than four-fold compared with that obtained with bare multiwalled carbon nanotubes (10.8 F g−1).
CONCLUSIONS: Horseradish peroxidase-catalyzed in situ synthesis of the composites of multiwalled carbon nanotubes and polypyrrole requires neither the derivatization of multiwalled carbon nanotubes and/or pyrrole monomers nor the post-doping of the synthesized composites to enhance the capacitance of the composites. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry