High-Throughput of Polymer Derived Carbon Nanopillar Arrays for Enhanced Energy Storage Performance

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High-Throughput of Polymer Derived Carbon Nanopillar Arrays for Enhanced Energy Storage Performance Zenan Yu,1,2 Binh Duong,3 Julian Moore,1,2 Panit Chantharasupawong,1,4 Chao Li,1,2 and Jayan Thomas1,2,4 1 NanoScience Technology Center, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32826, U.S.A. 2 Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32826, U.S.A. 3 Center for Polymers and Organic Solids, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, U.S.A. 4 College of Optics and Photonics, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32826, U.S.A. ABSTRACT Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) was printed into a nanostructured carbon nanopillar arrays using a quick, simple, and highly efficient method called spin-on nanoprinting (SNAP). The mold used to print PAN nanostructures could easily be reproduced via printing an inverse replica of carbon nanopillar arrays. The as-printed carbon nanopillar arrays were further prepared as supercapacitor electrodes. As a result, these nanostructured carbon electrodes display an order of magnitude enhancement in specific capacitance compared to non-nanostructured carbon electrodes. INTRODUCTION Electrochemical capacitors, also called supercapacitors (SC), bridge the gap between batteries and conventional dielectric capacitors demonstrating high energy and power densities as well as superior cycle stability [1-3]. Development of new energy storage technologies depends heavily on the availability of advanced materials and cost effective fabrication techniques. Carbon has received considerable attention over the years for uses in energy storage systems [4-6]. Exhibiting many unique structures, carbon electrodes are lightweight, highly conductive and electrochemically stable as well as cheap and abundant [7-9]. In this study we describe the spin-on nanoprinting (SNAP) technique [10-14], which accomplishes an ideal carbon nanostructured electrode for supercapacitors with a simple method to assemble large area carbon nanostructures. This technique utilizes a thin layer of PAN solution that is spin-cast onto a carbon mold. Removing the film from the mold and transferring it directly to a substrate precoated with an undercured PAN film eliminates the need for adhesive resin and UV source necessary for other reported nanoprinting techniques. A freestanding film of printed PAN can be developed by simply peeling-off the film from the mold and converting it into carbon. It is also possible to produce carbon molds from the resulting carbon structure through additional SNAP procedures, followed by carbonization of printed PAN film. Cyclic voltammetry (CV) measurements were used for electrochemical characterization. In addition atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were used to image the morphology of nanostructures.

EXPERIMENTAL Scanning electron microscope imaging was carried out using Zeiss Ultra-55 operated at 15 kV. For XRD analysis, the samples were analyzed using a PANalytical X’PertPro MPD X-ray diffractometer (CuK radiation,