Ultrafine Co-based Nanoparticle@Mesoporous Carbon Nanospheres toward High-Performance Supercapacitors
A general synthetic methodology is reported to grow ultrafine cobalt-based nanoparticles (NPs, 2–7 nm) within high-surface-area mesoporous carbon (MC) frameworks. Our design strategy is based on colloidal amphiphile (CAM) templated oxidative self-polymerization of dopamine. The CAM templates consisting of a hydrophobic silica-like core and a hydrophilic PEO shell can coassemble with dopamine and template its self-polymerization to form polydopamine (PDA) nanospheres. Given that PDA has rich binding sites such as catechol and amine to coordinate metal ions (e.g., Co 2+ ), PDA nanospheres containing Co 2+ ions can be converted into hierarchical porous carbon frameworks containing ultrafine metallic Co NPs (Co@MC) using high-temperature pyrolysis. The CAM templates offer strong “nanoconfinements” to prevent the overgrowth of Co NPs within carbon frameworks. The yielded ultrafine Co NPs have an average size of 3 O 4 , CoS 2 and transition-metal doped bimetallic Co x M 1– x S 2 , without significantly changing the size of NPs. As a proof-of-concept application, the porous Co-based NPs@MC hybrids were used as electrode materials for supercapacitors, which exhibit excellent supercapacitive performance with outstanding long-term cycling stability, due to the features such as ultrafine size, controllable chemical compositions, hierarchical porous structures, and full coverage of conductive carbons. Graphic Abstract ACS Electronic Supporting Info
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