Synthesis of large surface area carbon xerogels for electrochemical double layer capacitors

Yun Min Chang, Cheng Yeou Wu, Pu-Wei Wu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


A resorcinol-formaldehyde (R-F) condensation reaction catalyzed by acetic acid (C) is employed to prepare carbon xerogels for electrochemical double layer capacitors. The samples are fabricated with an R:F ratio of 1:2 and R:C ratio of 10:1, followed by solvent exchange, pyrolysis, and carbon dioxide activation. The solvent exchange allows negligible structure contraction upon drying, and after pyrolysis and carbon dioxide treatment, we are able to produce porous carbons with a surface area of 3419 m 2 g -1. Image from scanning electron microscope reveals an interconnected foam-like structure and BET confirms the presence of excessive micro- and mesopores. Electrochemical analysis including cyclic voltammetry (CV), current reversal chronopotentiometry (CRC), and impedance spectroscopy are conducted using a titanium cavity electrode so relevant capacitive characteristics and kinetic parameters could be determined. Both CV and CRC results indicate specific capacitances and life time behaviors that are comparable or even better than those of Black Pearl 2000. For example, the specific capacitance is 324.8 F g -1 in 0.5 M H 2SO 4 aqueous solution at ±1 A g -1 for potential window of 0-1 V. In contrast, sample without carbon dioxide activation displays a similar morphology but its surface area and specific capacitance are reduced considerably to 449 m 2 g -1 and 34.7 F g -1, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-154
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Power Sources
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2013


  • Carbon dioxide activation
  • Carbon xerogels
  • Electrochemical double layer capacitor
  • Resorcinol- formaldehyde condensation
  • Solvent exchange

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