• electrodes;
  • cobalt;
  • nickel;
  • oxides;
  • asymmetric supercapacitors;
  • hierarchical materials

The electrochemical performance of supercapacitors relies not only on the exploitation of high-capacity active materials, but also on the rational design of superior electrode architectures. Herein, a novel supercapacitor electrode comprising 3D hierarchical mixed-oxide nanostructured arrays (NAs) of C/CoNi3O4 is reported. The network-like C/CoNi3O4 NAs exhibit a relatively high specific surface area; it is fabricated from ultra-robust Co-Ni hydroxide carbonate precursors through glucose-coating and calcination processes. Thanks to their interconnected three-dimensionally arrayed architecture and mesoporous nature, the C/CoNi3O4 NA electrode exhibits a large specific capacitance of 1299 F/g and a superior rate performance, demonstrating 78% capacity retention even when the discharge current jumps by 100 times. An optimized asymmetric supercapacitor with the C/CoNi3O4 NAs as the positive electrode is fabricated. This asymmetric supercapacitor can reversibly cycle at a high potential of 1.8 V, showing excellent cycling durability and also enabling a remarkable power density of ∼13 kW/kg with a high energy density of ∼19.2 W·h/kg. Two such supercapacitors linked in series can simultaneously power four distinct light-emitting diode indicators; they can also drive the motor of remote-controlled model planes. This work not only presents the potential of C/CoNi3O4 NAs in thin-film supercapacitor applications, but it also demonstrates the superiority of electrodes with such a 3D hierarchical architecture.