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High surface area nanoporous carbon has been prepared by thermo-chemical etching of titanium carbide TiC in chlorine in the temperature range 200–1200 °C. Structural analysis showed that this carbide-derived carbon (CDC) was highly disordered at all synthesis temperatures. Higher temperature resulted in increasing ordering and formation of bent graphene sheets or thin graphitic ribbons. Soft X-ray absorption near-edge structure spectroscopy demonstrated that CDC consisted mostly of sp2 bonded carbon. Small-angle X-ray scattering and argon sorption measurements showed that the uniform carbon-carbon distance in cubic TiC resulted in the formation of small pores with a narrow size distribution at low synthesis temperatures; synthesis temperatures above 800 °C resulted in larger pores. CDC produced at 600–800 °C show great potential for energy-related applications. Hydrogen sorption experiments at −195.8 °C and atmospheric pressure showed a maximum gravimetric capacity of ∼ 330 cm3/g (3.0 wt.%). Methane sorption at 25 °C demonstrated a maximum capacity above 46 cm3/g (45 vol/vol or 3.1 wt.%) at atmospheric pressure. When tested as electrodes for supercapacitors with an organic electrolyte, the hydrogen-treated CDC showed specific capacitance up to 130 F/g with no degradation after 10 000 cycles.
porous carbon, etching, adsorption, BET surface area, electron microscopy, small angle x-ray scattering
Date Posted: 02 January 2007
This document has been peer reviewed.