Synthesis of activated carbon nanospheres with hierarchical porous structure for high volumetric performance supercapacitors

Xiaoliang Yu, Jiamin Lu, Changzhen Zhan, Ruitao Lv, Qinghua Liang, Zheng Hong Huang, Wanci Shen, Feiyu Kang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)


Activated carbon nanospheres (ACNS) with hierarchical porosity have been synthesized via a low-concentration hydrothermal reaction with phenolic resin as a carbon source and block copolymer F127 as a soft template, followed by subsequent KOH activation. As-obtained ACNS material integrates several advantages, such as a nanoscale particle size, a hierarchical porosity, abundant oxygen-containing functional groups and a high mass density (0.81 g cm-3). The electrochemical tests in KOH aqueous electrolyte shows superior capacitive performances, i.e. both high gravimetric and volumetric capacitance of 243 F g-1 and 198 F cm-3, a large areal capacitance of 25.5 μF cm-2, an excellent rate capability as well as a superior long-term cycling stability (96.1% capacitance retention over 10000 cycles). Moreover, symmetric supercapacitors based on ACNS electrodes achieve a high volumetric energy density of 6.0 Wh L-1, which maintains 3.7 Wh L-1 even at a high power density of 6.6 kW L-1. Such ACNS thus shows great potential as a promising porous carbon material for high volumetric performance supercapacitors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)908-916
Number of pages9
JournalElectrochimica Acta
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • activated carbon nanospheres
  • hierarchical porosity
  • potassium hydroxide activation
  • supercapacitors
  • volumetric performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry


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