Activated Porous Carbon Spheres with Customized Mesopores through Assembly of Diblock Copolymers for Electrochemical Capacitor

Jing Tang, Jie Wang, Lok Kumar Shrestha, Md Shahriar A. Hossain, Zeid Abdullah Alothman, Yusuke Yamauchi*, Katsuhiko Ariga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


A series of porous carbon spheres with precisely adjustable mesopores (4-16 nm), high specific surface area (SSA, ∼2000 m2 g-1), and submicrometer particle size (∼300 nm) was synthesized through a facile coassembly of diblock polymer micelles with a nontoxic dopamine source and a common postactivation process. The mesopore size can be controlled by the diblock polymer, polystyrene-block-poly(ethylene oxide) (PS-b-PEO) templates, and has an almost linear dependence on the square root of the degree of polymerization of the PS blocks. These advantageous structural properties make the product a promising electrode material for electrochemical capacitors. The electrochemical capacitive performance was studied carefully by using symmetrical cells in a typical organic electrolyte of 1 M tetraethylammonium tetrafluoroborate/acetonitrile (TEA BF4/AN) or in an ionic liquid electrolyte of 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate (EMIMBF4), displaying a high specific capacitance of 111 and 170 F g-1 at 1 A g-1, respectively. The impacts of pore size distribution on the capacitance performance were thoroughly investigated. It was revealed that large mesopores and a relatively low ratio of micropores are ideal for realizing high SSA-normalized capacitance. These results provide us with a simple and reliable way to screen future porous carbon materials for electrochemical capacitors and encourage researchers to design porous carbon with high specific surface area, large mesopores, and a moderate proportion of micropores.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18986-18993
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jun 7
Externally publishedYes


  • carbon sphere
  • chemical activation
  • controlled mesopore
  • electrochemical capacitor
  • self-assembly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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