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The electrochemical effects of embedding Cu nanoparticles in carbonized wood supercapacitor electrodes have been investigated. The nanoparticles were embedded using a solution method. Subsequent X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) results showed that the Cu nanoparticles were anchored uniformly on the surface and deep within the pores of the electrode. Cyclic voltammetry measurements showed that the electrode has typical pseudocapacitive behavior, with two pairs of redox reaction peaks. The charge-discharge cycling also indicated that the redox charge transformation was a reversible process. An ultra-high specific capacitance of 888 F/g and an energy density of 123 Wh/kg were observed for the Cu loaded electrodes, as compared to the pure carbonized wood electrodes, which had a specific capacitance of 282 F/g and an energy density of 39 Wh/kg. Furthermore, both the carbonized wood and Cu loaded electrodes exhibited excellent long cycle abilities with at least 95% of the specific capacitance retained after 2000 cycles. These remarkable results demonstrate the potential for using Cu nanoparticle loaded carbonized wood as a high performance and environmentally friendly supercapacitor electrode material.
The solid state electrolyte (SSE) of Li5La3Nb2O12 (LLNO) was synthesized via a novel molten salt synthesis (MSS) method at the relatively low temperature of 900°C. The low sintering temperature prevented the loss of lithium that commonly occurs during synthesis of the SSE using conventional solid state or wet chemical reactions. Recent publications have demonstrated that preserving the Li content is critical in improving the ionic conductivity of SSEs. The LLNO in this experiment showed a high Li-ion conductivity which is comparable to other values reported for LLNO. X-ray diffraction (XRD) measurements confirmed the formation of the cubic garnet Ia-3d crystal structure. In addition, the morphology was examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), which showed a uniform grain size and crack-free microstructure. These results demonstrate that MSS is a powerful synthesis method to fabricate LLNO at a relatively low temperature while still achieving a high quality material.
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