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Basirico L.,Institute of Advanced Technologies ITA | Lanzara G.,Institute of Advanced Technologies ITA | Lanzara G.,Third University of Rome
Nanotechnology | Year: 2012

In this paper it is shown that the electrochemical behaviour of vertically aligned multi-walled carbon nanotube (VANT) supercapacitors is influenced by the VANTs length (electrode thickness), by their axial compression and by their interface with the current collector. It is found that the VANTs, which can be interpreted as a dense array of nanochannels, have an active area available to ions that is strongly affected by the electrodes thickness and compressional state. Consequently, the tested thinner electrodes, compressed electrodes or a combination of the two were found to be characterized by a significant improvement in terms of power density (up to 1246%), knee frequency (58822% working up to 10kHz), equivalent series resistance (ESR, up to 67%) and capacitance (up to 21%) when compared with thicker and/or uncompressed electrodes. These values are significantly higher than those reported in the literature where long VANTs with no control on compression are typically used. It is also shown that the ESR can be reduced not only by using shorter and compressed VANTs that have a higher conductance or by improving the electrode/collector electrical contact by changing the contact morphology at the nanoscale through compression, but also by depositing a thin platinum layer on the VANT tips in contact with the current collector (73% ESR decrease). © 2012 IOP Publishing Ltd.

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