To improve the electrical performance of activated carbon (AC)-based electric double-layer capacitors (EDLCs), the surface of AC was modified with gas phase ammonia treatment at 1073. K with different treatment times to carry out simultaneous etching and N-doping. The effects of the treatment on AC surfaces and their electrochemical properties were investigated. The specific capacitances of samples treated for 22. min were increased to 426. F/g at scan rates of 10. mV/s, which corresponded to a 76.8% increase as compared with 241. F/g of samples measured as received from the manufacturer. The increase is attributed to an increase in the specific surface area and the total pore, micro- and mesopore volumes due to the etching effect of the high-temperature ammonia gas reaction. Moreover, N-functional groups, which were introduced by the treatment, also aided to improve the electrochemical properties of the resulting AC-based electrode. Therefore, the simultaneous etching and N-doping method with ammonia gas at high temperature can easily introduce nitrogen functional groups on the AC surface. In addition, the reaction of nitrogen gas with AC can affect its specific surface area and surface pore structure, which is very effective in preparing AC for EDLCs with improved electrochemical properties. © 2011 The Korean Society of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry.
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