Selective observation of charge storing ions in supercapacitor electrode materials.

31 Jan 2018

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy has emerged as a useful technique for probing the structure and dynamics of the electrode-electrolyte interface in supercapacitors, as ions inside the pores of the carbon electrodes can be studied separately from bulk electrolyte. However, in some cases spectral resolution can limit the information that can be obtained. In this study we address this issue by showing how cross polarisation (CP) NMR experiments can be used to selectively observe the in-pore ions in supercapacitor electrode materials. We do this by transferring magnetisation from 13C nuclei in porous carbons to nearby nuclei in the cations (1H) or anions (19F) of an ionic liquid. Two-dimensional NMR experiments and CP kinetics measurements confirm that in-pore ions are located within Ångströms of sp2-hybridised carbon surfaces. Multinuclear NMR experiments hold promise for future NMR studies of supercapacitor systems where spectral resolution is limited.