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Pure Appl. Chem., 2009, Vol. 81, No. 12, pp. 2317-2325

Published online 2009-11-16

Fabrication of a vertically aligned carbon nanotube electrode and its modification by nanostructured MnO2 for supercapacitors

Wei-De Zhang* and Jin Chen

Nano Science Research Center, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, South China University of Technology, 381 Wushan Road, Guangzhou 510640, China

Abstract: Strongly bonded arrays of vertically aligned, multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) have been successfully grown on Ta foils, and provide a convenient basis for fabricating electrodes with high conductivity and stability. The MWNT arrays were further coated by nanostructured MnO2 through reacting with KMnO4 solution at room temperature. The morphology of the MnO2/MWNT nanocomposite was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). It was found that the MnO2 is a beehive-like nanostructure that is homogeneously and densely coated on the surface of the MWNTs. The capacitance of the MWNT electrode was significantly increased from 0.14 to 6.81 mF cm–2 after being modified with nanostructured MnO2, that is, the mass-specific capacitance of the bare and MnO2-modified MWNTs was about 33 and 446 F g–1, respectively. The MnO2/MWNT nanocomposite on Ta foils could be potential for developing a supercapacitor.