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Effect of diffuse layer and pore shapes in mesoporous carbon supercapacitors

  • Jingsong Huang (a1), Rui Qiao (a2), Bobby G. Sumpter and Vincent Meunier (a1)

In the spirit of the theoretical evolution from the Helmholtz model to the Gouy–Chapman–Stern model for electric double-layer capacitors, we explored the effect of a diffuse layer on the capacitance of mesoporous carbon supercapacitors by solving the Poisson–Boltzmann (PB) equation in mesopores of diameters from 2 to 20 nm. To evaluate the effect of pore shape, both slit and cylindrical pores were considered. We found that the diffuse layer does not affect the capacitance significantly. For slit pores, the area-normalized capacitance is nearly independent of pore size, which is not experimentally observed for template carbons. In comparison, for cylindrical pores, PB simulations produce a trend of slightly increasing area-normalized capacitance with pore size, similar to that depicted by the electric double-cylinder capacitor model proposed earlier. These results indicate that it is appropriate to approximate the pore shape of mesoporous carbons as being cylindrical and the electric double-cylinder capacitor model should be used for mesoporous carbons as a replacement of the traditional Helmholtz model.

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