Ultrahigh surface area three-dimensional porous graphitic carbon from conjugated polymeric molecular framework

John W.F. To, Zheng Chen, Hongbin Yao, Jiajun He, Kwanpyo Kim, Ho Hsiu Chou, Lijia Pan, Jennifer Wilcox, Yi Cui, Zhenan Bao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

187 Citations (Scopus)


Porous graphitic carbon is essential for many applications such as energy storage devices, catalysts, and sorbents. However, current graphitic carbons are limited by low conductivity, low surface area, and ineffective pore structure. Here we report a scalable synthesis of porous graphitic carbons using a conjugated polymeric molecular framework as precursor. The multivalent cross-linker and rigid conjugated framework help to maintain micro- and mesoporous structures, while promoting graphitization during carbonization and chemical activation. The above unique design results in a class of highly graphitic carbons at temperature as low as 800 °C with record-high surface area (4073 m2 g-1), large pore volume (2.26 cm-3), and hierarchical pore architecture. Such carbons simultaneously exhibit electrical conductivity >3 times more than activated carbons, very high electrochemical activity at high mass loading, and high stability, as demonstrated by supercapacitors and lithium-sulfur batteries with excellent performance. Moreover, the synthesis can be readily tuned to make a broad range of graphitic carbons with desired structures and compositions for many applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-76
Number of pages9
JournalACS Central Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015 May 27

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is partially supported by the Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP) and Preourt Institute for Energy. We acknowledge the support from the Department of Energy, through the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory LDRD project, under Contract DE-AC02-76SF00515. Part of this work was also supported by the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Office of Vehicle Technologies of the U.S. Department of Energy and the Battery Materials Research (BMR) Program and the SUNCAT Center for Interface Science and Catalysis, a partnership between SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the Department of Chemical Engineering at Stanford University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Chemical Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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