Functionalizing carbon cathode surfaces with oxygen functional groups is an effective way to simultaneously tailor the fundamental properties and customize the electrochemical properties of aqueous Zn-ion hybrid capacitors. In this work, the oxygen functional groups of chemically reduced graphene oxide (rGO) are systematically regulated via a series of reductants and varied experimental conductions. Carboxyl and carbonyl have been proven to significantly enhance the aqueous electrolyte wettability, Zn-ion chemical adsorption, and pseudocapacitive redox activity by experimental study and computational analysis. The rGO cathode produced through hydrogen peroxide assisted hydrothermal reduction exhibits a specific capacitance of 277 F g−1 in 1 m ZnSO4 after optimization of surface oxygen functional groups. In addition, a quasi-solid-state flexible Zn-ion hybrid capacitor (ZHC) with a polyacrylamide gel electrolyte and a high loading mass of 5.1 mg cm−2 are assembled. The as-prepared quasi-solid state ZHC can offer a superior areal capacitance of 1257 mF cm−2 and distinguished areal energy density of 342 µW h cm−2. The significant enhancement of redox activity and Zn-ion storage capability by regulating the oxygen functional groups can shed light on the promotion of electrochemical charge storage properties even beyond protic electrolyte systems.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-11-09
Acknowledgements: This project was financially supported by a start-up research grant for a distinguished professor at Soochow University (Y.S.), the National Natural Science Foundation of China No. 52003188 (Y.S.), the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province No. BK2020043448 (Y.S.), open research fund for Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory for Advanced Carbon Materials and Wearable Energy Technologies (Y.S.), and the China Post-doctoral Foundation Grant No. 7131705619 (Z.S.).