Tuning the Nanoporous Structure of Carbons Derived from the Composite of Cross-Linked Polymers for Charge Storage Applications

Farshad Barzegar*, Vladimir Pavlenko, Muhammed Zahid, Abdulhakeem Bello, Xiaohua Xia, Ncholu Manyala, Kenneth Ozoemena, Qamar Abbas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Controlling the porosity of carbon-based electrodes is key toward performance improvement of charge storage devices, e.g., supercapacitors, which deliver high power via fast charge/discharge of ions at the electrical double layer (EDL). Here, eco-friendly preparation of carbons with adaptable nanopores from polymers obtained via microwave-assisted cross-linking of poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) and poly(vinyl pyrrolidone) (PVP) is reported. The polymeric hydrogels possess porous and foam-like structures, giving excellent control of porosity at the precursor level, which are then subjected to activation at high temperatures of 700–900 °C to prepare carbons with a surface area of 1846 m2 g–1 and uniform distribution of micro-, meso-, and macropores. Then, graphene as an additive to hydrogel precursor improves the surface characteristics and elaborates porous texture, giving composite materials with a surface area of 3107 m2 g–1. These carbons show an interconnected porous structure and bimodal pore size distribution suitable for facile ionic transport. When implemented in symmetric supercapacitor configuration with aqueous 5 mol L–1 NaNO3 electrolyte, a capacitance of 163 F g–1 (per average mass of one electrode) and stable evolution of capacitance, coulombic, and energy efficiency during 10 000 galvanostatic charge/discharge up to 1.6 V at 1.0 A g–1 have been achieved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1763-1773
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Energy Materials
Issue number2
Early online date19 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2021


  • Charge storage
  • Electric double layer
  • Microwave-assisted cross-linked polymers
  • Nanoporous carbon
  • Supercapacitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Electrochemistry

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