Nanostructured carbons are common components of electrodes used for energy-storage and
-conversion applications to impart enhanced electronic conductivity that sustains high-rate operation, to support dispersed active materials (e.g., electrocatalytic metals and oxides), and to contribute to the physical structure and integrity of the electrode. Often overlooked in the design and characterization of such electrode structures is the critical nature of electronic/chemical/physical interactions at the junction of carbon with the nanoscale phases that impart desired storage or electrocatalytic functionality. Our own experience with such multifunctional compositions shows that we still “leave on the table” too much energy and power performance as a consequence of sub-optimal interfacial design. In order to explore these fundamental questions, we step back from the complexity of 3D electrode architectures to planar electrode configurations that otherwise mimic the material characteristics of practical electrode structures. Carbon films deposited onto planar substrates by vapor-phase pyrolysis of benzene and related monomers serve as model interfaces that we then modify with charge-storing metal oxides, electroactive polymers, and metal colloids . The resulting 2D interfaces are characterized by classical electroanalytical methods to determine fundamental properties such as electron-transfer rate constants and impedance-derived response times. These substrates are also amenable to interrogation by scanning probe microscopy, including in-situ monitoring of conductivity and surface morphology under potential/current control. Lessons learned from these model 2D interfaces are readily applied to the redesign of practical 3D electrode structures in next-generation electrochemical capacitors and batteries.
 J. F. Parker, G. E. Kamm, A. D. McGovern, P. A. DeSario, D. R. Rolison, and J. W. Long, Langmuir, 33 (2017) 9415–9425.
5:00 PM–7:00 PM Apr 23, 2019 (US - Arizona)
PCC North, 300 Level, Exhibit Hall C-E