Electrophoretic assembly of organic molecules and composites for electrochemical supercapacitors.

Research paper by Y Y Su, I I Zhitomirsky

Indexed on: 13 Nov '12Published on: 13 Nov '12Published in: Journal of Colloid and Interface Science


Electrophoretic deposition (EPD) method has been developed for the fabrication of 1-pyrenebutyric acid (PBH) films from aqueous solutions. The films can be deposited at constant voltage or potentiodynamic conditions. The method allowed the formation of 0.1-2 μm thick films, containing needle-shape PBH particles. The deposition mechanism involved the electrophoresis, pH decrease at the anode surface, charge neutralization and formation of insoluble PBH films. The film morphology and shape of the PBH particles are controlled by the π-π stacking mechanism of the polyaromatic PBH molecules. The important finding was the possibility of controlled EPD of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) using PBH as a charging, dispersing and film forming agent. It was found that at low voltages or low PBH concentrations the deposits contained mainly MWCNT. The increase in the deposition voltage or/and PBH concentration resulted in co-deposition of MWCNT and needle-shape PBH particles. The new approach to the deposition of MWCNT was used for the fabrication of composite MnO(2)-MWCNT films for electrodes of electrochemical supercapacitors, which showed a specific capacitance of 250 F g(-1). The EPD method developed in this investigation paves the way for the deposition of other small organic molecules and composites and their applications in new materials and devices, utilizing functional properties of the organic molecules, CNT, and other advanced materials.