Carbon materials; composite materials; electrodeposition; energy storage and conversion; thin films; conducting polymers.
In this paper, we report on the high electrical storage capacity of composite electrodes made from nanoscale activated carbon combined with either poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) or PEDOT doped with multiple dopants such as ammonium persulfate (APS) and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). The composites were fabricated by electropolymerization of the conducting polymers (PEDOT:PSS, doped PEDOT) onto the nanoscale activated carbon backbone, wherein the nanoscale activated carbon was produced by ball-milling followed by chemical and thermal treatments. Activated carbon/PEDOT:PSS yielded capacitance values of 640 F g-1 and 26mF cm-2, while activated carbon/doped PEDOT yielded capacitances of 1183 F g-1 and 42 mF cm-2 at 10 mV s-1. This is more than five times the storage capacity previously reported for activated carbon–PEDOT composites. Further, use of multiple dopants in PEDOT improved the storage performance of the composite electrode well over that of PEDOT:PSS. The composite electrodes were characterized for their electrochemical behaviour, structural and morphological details and electronic conductivity and showed promise as high-performance energy storage systems.