J. Houck, V. Amar, A. Shende, R. Shende
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology,
Keywords: graphene, supercapacitor, mesoporous, Ti and Mn oxides, sol-gel
Summary:In this investigation, several mesoporous nanocomposites such as TiO2/MnO2, TiO2/Mn2O3, TiO2/MnO2/Mn2O3 and TiO2/MnO2/Mn2O3/MnTiO3 were synthesized using the pluronic 123 templating assisted sol-gel method. To prepare these nanocomposites, sol-A with Ti precursor and sol-B containing Mn precursor were prepared using required amounts in ethanol. The gelation was catalyzed using dil. HCl. The gels were aged for 24-72 hrs, dried at 80oC and calcined to obtain nanocomposite powders. To achieve higher porosity, the surfactant concentration was increased up to 40 wt%. Few nanocomposites were functionalized with graphene nanoplatelets. The powders were analyzed by x-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM)/energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDX), BET surface area analysis and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Synthesis of solid solutions of MnxTi1-xO3 was attempted at >1000oC. The purpose of this study was to accomplish higher gravimetric capacitance at specific current density and stable capacitance during thousands of charging and discharging cycles without degradation, and further integrate this supercapacitor with a microbial fuel cell (MFC) to harvest electrical energy. Synthesis methods, material characterization and capacitance measurements will be presented.