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Juglans Sporopollenin for High-Performance Supercapacitor Electrode Design

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journal contribution
posted on 06.08.2020, 22:21 by Funda Ersoy Atalay, Alper Bingol, Harun Kaya, Yıldız Emre, Hatice Hande Bas, Ayse Asiye Culum
Recently, plant pollen has been used as a source of activated carbon to produce carbon-containing supercapacitor electrodes. However, in this study, pollen was used as a biotemplate with a completely different approach. As a biotemplate, pollen offers a wide range of varieties in terms of exterior, porosity, shape, and size. An electrode formed by the use of metal oxide grown on the pollen exine layer (sporopollenin microcapsules) as the active substance will inevitably exhibit good electrochemical capacitive properties. Juglans male flowers have been distinguished by dissection from anthers. Isolation of pollen grains from anthers was carried out using sieving from suitable sieves (45–200 μm). Juglans sporopollenin exine microcapsules (SECs) were separated from the intine and protoplasm by acetolysis in combination with reflux. The solution containing SECs, metal ions, and Ni foam was put into a Teflon-lined hydrothermal container, and then, it was reacted at 120 °C for 15 h. The resulting precipitate, as well as the Ni foam, was heat-treated at 300 and 360 °C for 3 h in air. The raw pollen, chemically treated pollen, and cobalt-coated SEC (CoSEC) and CoSEC/Ni foam were characterized using scanning electron microscopy, Brunauer–Emmett–Teller surface area analysis, thermogravimetric analysis, and X-ray diffraction techniques. Two different types of supercapacitor electrode designs, with the use of exine microcapsules of Juglans sporopollenin, were performed for the first time. The maximum specific capacitance was up to 1691 F g–1 at 5 A g–1.