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Carbon Nanotube Fibers Decorated With MnO2 For Wire-Shaped Supercapacitor

Luman Zhang, Xuan Zhang, Jian Wang, David Seveno, Jan Fransaer, Jean-Pierre Locquet, Jin Won Seo

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Fibers made from CNTs (CNT fibers) have the potential to form high-strength, lightweight materials with superior electrical conductivity. CNT fibers have attracted great attention in relation to various applications, in particular as conductive electrodes in energy applications, such as capacitors, lithium-ion batteries, and solar cells. Among these, wire-shaped supercapacitors demonstrate various advantages for use in lightweight and wearable electronics. However, making electrodes with uniform structures and desirable electrochemical performances still remains a challenge. In this study, dry-spun CNT fibers from CNT carpets were homogeneously loaded with MnO2 nanoflakes through the treatment of KMnO4. These functionalized fibers were systematically characterized in terms of their morphology, surface and mechanical properties, and electrochemical performance. The resulting MnO2–CNT fiber electrode showed high specific capacitance (231.3 F/g) in a Na2SO4 electrolyte, 23 times higher than the specific capacitance of the bare CNT fibers. The symmetric wire-shaped supercapacitor composed of CNT–MnO2 fiber electrodes and a PVA/H3PO4 electrolyte possesses an energy density of 86 nWh/cm and good cycling performance. Combined with its light weight and high flexibility, this CNT-based wire-shaped supercapacitor shows promise for applications in flexible and wearable energy storage devices.