Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2013, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (05): 966-972.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB201302281

• ELECTROCHEMISTRY AND NEW ENERGY • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effect of Carbon Aerogel Activation on Electrode Lithium Insertion Performance

LIU Nian-Ping, SHEN Jun, GUAN Da-Yong, LIU Dong, ZHOU Xiao-Wei, LI Ya-Jie   

  1. Shanghai Key Laboratory of Special Artificial Microstructure Materials and Technology, Institute of Physical Science and Engineering of Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, P. R. China
  • Received:2012-11-12 Revised:2013-02-27 Published:2013-04-24
  • Supported by:

    The project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51072137, 50802064, 11074189), Key Projects in the National Science & Technology Pillar Program, China (2009BAC62B02), and Shanghai Committee of Science and Technology, China (11nm0501600).


Carbon aerogels have received much recent attention as high-capacity insertion anodes for rechargeable lithium ion batteries. Carbon aerogels were synthesized from resorcinol-formaldehyde with a sodium carbonate catalyst via a sol-gel process, ambient drying, carbonization, and activation. Gaseous CO2-activated carbon aerogels combined the advantages of amorphous and nanoporous structures, with richer porous structures and more lithium insertion points than conventional carbon aerogels. Microporosity analysis indicated a high surface area, and the pore volume effectively retained lithium and its compounds. The mesoporosity allowed the mass transport of Li+ and conferred high ionic conductivity to the electrode. These improvements led to a higher lithium insertion capacity, and the activated carbon aerogel exhibited a specific surface area of 2032 m2·g-1. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed an amorphous structure and nanoparticle network skeleton, respectively. Lithium insertion capacities of 3870 and 352 mAh·g-1 were exhibited in the 1st and 50th galvanostatic discharge-charge (50 mA·g-1) cycles, respectively. This corresponded to irreversible capacities of 658 and 333 mAh·g-1, respectively. This work demonstrates the feasibility of CO2 activation for improving lithium insertion performance in carbon aerogels, and provides preparation and optimization procedures for other porous electrode materials.

Key words: Carbon aerogel, Sol-gel, Gas activation, Amorphous carbon, Lithium ion battery


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