Preparation of Free Standing Carbon Nanofiber Electrodes for Supercapacitor Applications




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Supercapacitors, also known as electrochemical double layer capacitors (EDLCs), are promising energy storage devices that can store more energy per unit volume or unit mass than the conventional capacitor. Supercapacitors can be charged and discharged at faster rates than batteries. Supercapacitors have extremely good cyclability; however, their low energy density compared to batteries limits their application. Due to their high conductivity, freestanding nature, and high surface area, electrospun porous carbon nanofibers can be used as electrode materials in supercapacitor devices. Operational voltage is another important factor affecting the performance of the supercapacitor. Constant effort has been made to improve energy density through developing materials with larger surface areas. Performance of the supercapacitor is improved by obtaining high surface area carbon fiber electrode materials using pore forming agents with polyacrylonitrile (PAN) and copolymer, polyacrylonitrile–1-vinylimidazole (PAN-VIM). Chapter 1 gives a general introduction on EDLCs, preparation of carbon nanofibers from polymer precursor using electrospinning process and thermal treatments. Chapter 2 describes the preparation of high surface area carbon electrode material from polyacrylonitrile (PAN) incorporating tetramethylammonium oxalate as a porogen. Chapter 3 shows the use of a porogen ammonium bicarbonate (ABC) to make high surface area carbon electrodes using the copolymer polyacrylonitrile – 1-vinylimidazole (PAN-VIM) as the precursor polymer. Chapter 4 describes the preparation and characterizations of electrode materials by electrospinning immiscible polymers blends of PAN-Polystyrene (PS) followed by thermal treatments. Chapter 5 compares the supercapacitor performances of PAN- poly(styrene-co-acrylonitrile) (PAN-SAN) and PAN-PS.



Polystyrene, Supercapacitors, Carbon nanofibers, Electrodes, Carbon


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