a1 Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-6367
a2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina 29634-0921
a3 Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-6367
In the spirit of the theoretical evolution from the Helmholtz model to the Gouy–Chapman–Stern model for electric double-layer capacitors, we explored the effect of a diffuse layer on the capacitance of mesoporous carbon supercapacitors by solving the Poisson–Boltzmann (PB) equation in mesopores of diameters from 2 to 20 nm. To evaluate the effect of pore shape, both slit and cylindrical pores were considered. We found that the diffuse layer does not affect the capacitance significantly. For slit pores, the area-normalized capacitance is nearly independent of pore size, which is not experimentally observed for template carbons. In comparison, for cylindrical pores, PB simulations produce a trend of slightly increasing area-normalized capacitance with pore size, similar to that depicted by the electric double-cylinder capacitor model proposed earlier. These results indicate that it is appropriate to approximate the pore shape of mesoporous carbons as being cylindrical and the electric double-cylinder capacitor model should be used for mesoporous carbons as a replacement of the traditional Helmholtz model.
(Received December 14 2009)
(Accepted April 23 2010)