Influence of Resorcinol to Sodium Carbonate Ratio on Carbon Xerogel Properties for Aluminium Ion Battery

M. Eckert, H. Suthar, J.-F. Drillet

Materials, 15/7 (2022), doi: 10.3390/ma15072597


Carbon xerogels were synthesized using a soft-template route with resorcinol as the carbon source and sodium carbonate as the catalyst. The influence of the resorcinol to catalyst ratio in the range of 500–20,000 on pore structure, graphitic domains, and electronic conductivity of as-prepared carbon xerogels, as well as their performance in an aluminium ion battery (AIB), was investigated. After carbonization steps of the polymers up to 800 °C, all carbon samples exhibited similar specific volumes of micropores (0.7–0.8 cm³ g−1), while samples obtained from mixtures with R/C ratios lower than 2000 led to carbon xerogels with significantly higher mesopore diameters up to 6 nm. The best results, in terms of specific surface (1000 m² g−1), average pore size (6 nm) and reversible capacity in AIB cell (28 mAh g−1 @ 0.1 A g−1), were obtained with a carbon xerogel sample synthetized at a resorcinol to catalyst ratio of R/C = 500 (CXG500). Though cyclic voltammograms of carbon xerogel samples did not exhibit any sharp peaks in the applied potential window, the presence of both oxidation and a quite wide reduction peak in CXG500–2000 cyclic voltammograms indicated pseudocapacitance behaviour induced by diffusion-controlled intercalation/de-intercalation of AlCl4 ions into/from the carbon xerogel matrix. This was confirmed by shifting of the (002) peak towards lower 2θ angle values in the XRD pattern of the CXG500 electrode after the charging step in AIB, whereas the contribution of pseudocapacitance, calculated from half-cell measurements, was limited to only 6% of overall capacitance.

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