Ultrahigh Surface Area Three-Dimensional Porous Graphitic Carbon from Conjugated Polymeric Molecular Framework

John W. F. To, Zheng Chen, Hongbin Yao, Jiajun He, Kwanpyo Kim, Ho-Hsiu Chou, Lijia Pan, Jennifer Wilcox, Yi Cui, Zhenan Bao
Year of publication: 
ACS Central Science

Porous graphitic carbon is essential for many applications such as energy storage devices, catalysts, and sorbents. However, current graphitic carbons are limited by low conductivity, low surface area, and ineffective pore structure. Here we report a scalable synthesis of porous graphitic carbons using a conjugated polymeric molecular framework as precursor. The multivalent cross-linker and rigid conjugated framework help to maintain micro- and mesoporous structures, while promoting graphitization during carbonization and chemical activation. The above unique design results in a class of highly graphitic carbons at temperature as low as 800 °C with record-high surface area (4073 m2 g–1), large pore volume (2.26 cm–3), and hierarchical pore architecture. Such carbons simultaneously exhibit electrical conductivity >3 times more than activated carbons, very high electrochemical activity at high mass loading, and high stability, as demonstrated by supercapacitors and lithium–sulfur batteries with excellent performance. Moreover, the synthesis can be readily tuned to make a broad range of graphitic carbons with desired structures and compositions for many applications.

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