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Pure Appl. Chem., 2009, Vol. 81, No. 8, pp. 1489-1498

Published online 2009-07-23

Nanostructured oxides for energy storage applications in batteries and supercapacitors

Amreesh Chandra, Alexander J. Roberts, Eric Lam How Yee and Robert C. T. Slade*

Chemical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, GU2 7XH, UK

Abstract: Nanostructured materials are extensively investigated for application in energy storage and power generation devices. This paper deals with the synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials based on oxides of vanadium and with their application as electrode materials for energy storage systems viz. supercapacitors. These nano-oxides have been synthesized using a hydrothermal route in the presence of templates: 1-hexadecylamine, Tweens and Brij types. Using templates during synthesis enables tailoring of the particle morphology and physical characteristics of synthesized powders. Broad X-ray diffraction peaks show the formation of nanoparticles, confirmed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) investigations. SEM studies show that a large range of nanostructures such as needles, fibers, particles, etc. can be synthesized. These particles have varying surface areas and electrical conductivity. Enhancement of surface area as much as seven times relative to surface areas of starting parent materials has been observed. These properties make such materials ideal candidates for application as electrode materials in supercapacitors. Assembly and characterization of supercapacitors based on electrodes containing these active nano-oxides are discussed. Specific capacitance of >100 F g–1 has been observed. The specific capacitance decreases with cycling: causes of this phenomenon are presented.