Nano Research

Article Title

Binder-free activated carbon/carbon nanotube paper electrodes for use in supercapacitors


Supercapacitor, flexible, energy storage, carbon nanotube, activated carbon


ABSTRACT Novel inexpensive, light, flexible, and even rollup or wearable devices are required for multi-functional portable electronics and developing new versatile and flexible electrode materials as alternatives to the materials used in contemporary batteries and supercapacitors is a key challenge. Here, binder-free activated carbon (AC)/carbon nanotube (CNT) paper electrodes for use in advanced supercapacitors have been fabricated based on low-cost, industrial-grade aligned CNTs. By a two-step shearing strategy, aligned CNTs were dispersed into individual long CNTs, and then 90 wt%–99 wt% of AC powder was incorporated into the CNT pulp and the AC/CNT paper electrode was fabricated by deposition on a filter. The specific capacity, rate performance, and power density of the AC/CNT paper electrode were better than the corresponding values for an AC/acetylene black electrode. The capacity reached a maximum value of 267.6 F/g with a CNT loading of 5 wt%, and the energy density and power density were 22.5 W•h/kg and 7.3 kW/kg at a high current density of 20 A/g. The AC/CNT paper electrode also showed a good cycle performance, with 97.5% of the original capacity retained after 5000 cycles at a scan rate of 200 mV/s. This method affords not only a promising paper-like nanocomposite for use in low-cost and flexible supercapacitors, but also a general way of fabricating multi-functional paper-like CNT-based nanocomposites for use in devices such as flexible lithium ion batteries and solar cells.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press