Journal article Open Access
Capacitive energy storage mechanisms in nanoporous carbon supercapacitors hinge on endohedral interactions in carbon materials with macro-, meso-, and micropores that have negative surface curvature. In this article, we show that because of the positive curvature found in zero-dimensional carbon onions or one-dimensional carbon nanotube arrays, exohedral interactions cause the normalized capacitance to increase with decreasing particle size or tube diameter, in sharp contrast to the behavior of nanoporous carbon materials. This finding is in good agreement with the trend of recent experimental data. Our analysis suggests that electrical energy storage can be improved by exploiting the highly curved surfaces of carbon nanotube arrays with diameters on the order of 1 nm.