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Ultrafast Self-propagating High-temperature Synthesis Technique Offers Scalable Routes for Fabrication of Graphene for Supercapacitors

Jan 05, 2017     Email"> PrintText Size

Recently, Prof. MA Yanwei’s group from Institute of Electrical Engineering of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) collaborated with other researchers and has made significant progress toward scalable production of graphene and its application in high-performance supercapacitors. Based on the self-propagating high-temperature synthesis (SHS) technique with CO2 as carbon source, their protocol successfully realizes the efficient, green, low-cost production of graphene with high conductivity and high surface area. This study has been published on Advanced Materials, and has applied Chinese patent and patent of Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).

Graphene is a novel material drawing world's attention, but the scalable manufacturing of high quality graphene products on an industrial-scale is still considered a great challenge. Currently, protocols for graphene mass-production heavily rely on the exfoliation of expanded graphite and the reduction of graphite oxide. However, the former method usually produces stacked graphite flakes with low specific surface area, and the latter generally introduces numerous oxygen groups and defects, leading to low electrical conductivity. The previous protocols severely hampered the practical application of graphene.

Prof. MA Yanwei’s group successfully fabricated graphene materials with ample porous structure through controllable SHS process, which utilizes carbon dioxide as raw material, magnesium as reducing agent and nano magnesium oxide as template. The graphene products show excellent overall properties, including high electrical conductivity of 13000 S/m and specific surface area of 709 m2/g. In ionic liquid electrolytes, the graphene exhibits a high specific capacitance of 244 F/g as well as superior energy density of 136 Wh/kg and power density of 1000 kW/kg. The capacitance retention is higher than 90% after one million cycles. The SHS protocol for graphene production is time-efficient, environment-friendly, low-cost and readily applicable in industrial occasions, which is envisages as a vigorous promotion of graphene in energy-storage fields like supercapacitors.

This work is financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

 

Figure: a, A schematic illustration of the reaction chamber and the SHS process. b, The dual role of MgO in forming few-layered graphene. (Image by MA yanwei) 

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(Editor: LIU Jia)

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