Simultaneous Electrochemical Exfoliation and Chemical Functionalization of Graphene for Supercapacitor Electrodes

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The demand for efficient electrochemical energy storage technology, such as supercapacitors, continues to increase as both the energy and power demands of devices grow. Graphene has attracted wide interest in addressing this energy challenge due to its high conductivity and specific surface area. However, in reality the hydrophobic properties and the restacking of the graphene sheets during device manufacture leads to significantly lower storage performance than that theoretically predicted for isolated sheets. Herein, functionalized graphene was prepared by a convenient one-pot process, where graphene was functionalized with aryl diazonium salts (4-nitrobenzenediazonium tetrafluoroborate (NBD) and 4-bromobenzenediazonium tetrafluoroborate (BBD)) simultaneously during oxidative electrochemical exfoliation of graphite. It was found that the specific capacitance for functionalized graphene was significantly improved compared to pristine graphene due to the introduction of pseudocapacitance by the aryl diazonium salts. The dispersibility of functionalized graphene in water was also found to be improved, implying a better hydrophilicity. NBD functionalized graphene which had been exfoliated/functionalized for a total of 30 min exhibited the best energy storage properties with a 5 times increase in specific capacitance (17 mF cm−2) compared to pristine graphene (3 mF cm−2).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110531
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2020


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