Binder-free activated carbon/carbon nanotube paper electrodes for use in supercapacitors

Guanghui Xu, Chao Zheng, Qiang Zhang, Jiaqi Huang, Mengqiang Zhao, Jingqi Nie, Xianghua Wang, Fei Wei

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170 Scopus citations


Novel inexpensive, light, flexible, and even rollup or wearable devices are required for multi-functional portable electronics and developing new versatile and flexible electrode materials as alternatives to the materials used in contemporary batteries and supercapacitors is a key challenge. Here, binder-free activated carbon (AC)/carbon nanotube (CNT) paper electrodes for use in advanced supercapacitors have been fabricated based on low-cost, industrial-grade aligned CNTs. By a two-step shearing strategy, aligned CNTs were dispersed into individual long CNTs, and then 90 wt%-99 wt% of AC powder was incorporated into the CNT pulp and the AC/CNT paper electrode was fabricated by deposition on a filter. The specific capacity, rate performance, and power density of the AC/CNT paper electrode were better than the corresponding values for an AC/acetylene black electrode. The capacity reached a maximum value of 267.6 F/g with a CNT loading of 5 wt%, and the energy density and power density were 22.5 W·h/kg and 7.3 kW/kg at a high current density of 20 A/g. The AC/CNT paper electrode also showed a good cycle performance, with 97.5% of the original capacity retained after 5000 cycles at a scan rate of 200 mV/s. This method affords not only a promising paper-like nanocomposite for use in low-cost and flexible supercapacitors, but also a general way of fabricating multi-functional paper-like CNT-based nanocomposites for use in devices such as flexible lithium ion batteries and solar cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)870-881
Number of pages12
JournalNano Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Supercapacitor
  • activated carbon
  • carbon nanotube
  • energy storage
  • flexible


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