Engineering Pore Nanostructure of Carbon Cathodes for Zinc Ion Hybrid Supercapacitors

Wenbin Jian, Wenli Zhang, Xueer Wei, Bingchi Wu, Wanling Liang, Ying Wu, Jian Yin, Ke Lu, Yanan Chen, Husam N. Alshareef, Xueqing Qiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Zinc ion hybrid supercapacitors (ZIHCs) with both high power density and high energy density have tremendous potential for energy storage applications such as hybrid electric vehicles and renewable energy storage. However, the large radius of hydrated Zn2+ ions hampers their efficient storage in micropores with limited pore sizes, resulting in the limited gravimetric specific capacitance and inferior rate capability of ZIHCs. Therefore, it is critically important to understand to what extent pore size influences the storage of hydrated Zn2+ ions in the pores with limited sizes. Herein, porous carbon nanosheets with different pore architectures are prepared using an ammonium chloride molten salt carbonization strategy. The influence of pore size on hydrated Zn2+ ion storage in nanostructured carbon with divergent pore architectures is analyzed by electrochemical methods and molecular dynamic simulation. Micropores smaller than 6.0 Å obstruct the diffusion of hydrated Zn2+ ions, while micropores larger than 7.5 Å exhibit a low diffusion energy barrier for the hydrated Zn2+ ions. Mesopores improve capacitance and rate capability by exposing the electrochemically active sites and enhancing the diffusion of the hydrated Zn2+ ions.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2209914
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
StatePublished - Oct 21 2022

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-10-25
Acknowledgements: The authors acknowledge the financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (22108044), the Research and Development Program in Key Fields of Guangdong Province (2020B1111380002), the Basic Research and Applicable Basic Research in Guangzhou City (202201010290), the financial support from the Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Resources Biorefinery (2021GDKLPRB07) and the Special Funds for the Cultivation of Guangdong College Students’ Scientific and Technological Innovation (No. pdjh2022b0165). Research reported in this publication was also supported by King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST). The authors acknowledge Jinxin Lin for her DFT simulation of sulfate ions.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Electrochemistry
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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