Carbide-derived-carbons (CDCs) are nanostructured carbon materials with structural/morphological properties that are desirable for many applications, such as electrical energy and gas storage. CDCs with structures ranging from amorphous to highly ordered graphitic nature are produced by selective removal of metal or metalloid atoms from a crystalline metal carbide precursor. It is possible to control the structure, pore size, and density of CDCs by taking a specific carbide structure with desired properties and further tuning these properties by changing the synthesis parameters, such as temperature. Recently, a new method for producing CDCs was reported that involves electrochemically selective extraction of  metal atoms from the ternary layered carbides at room temperature, rather than energy-intensive thermal treatments or halogenation syntheses. Our group has extensively worked on synthesis of CDCs, developing materials for applications in electrochemical energy storage, hydrogen storage, methane storage, gas separation, protein adsorption, tribology, and other applications in the past decade. It was found that CDCs with high surface area and its hierarchical micro/mesoporous structure are promising for supercapacitor electrodes, showing high power and energy densities if the pore size is matched with the electrolyte ion size.

  1. J. Chmiola, G. Yushin, Y. Gogotsi, C. Portet, P. Simon, P. L. Taberna, Anomalous Increase in Carbon Capacitance at Pore Sizes Less Than 1 Nanometer, Science, 313, 1760-1763 (2006).
  2. M. R. Lukatskaya, J. Halim, B. Dyatkin, M. Naguib, Y. S. Buranova, M. W. Barsoum, Y. Gogotsi, Room-temperature Carbide Derived Carbon Synthesis by Electrochemical Etching of MAX Phases. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 53, 4877-4880 (2014).
  3. Y. Gogotsi, Not Just Graphene – the Wonderful World of Carbon and Related Nanomaterials, MRS Bulletin, 40, 1110-1120 (2015).


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A few representative examples of a large family of CDCs structures: a) Schematic of porous amorphous CDC (Carbon, 2010); b) Different structure of CDCs produced at different temperatures (Carbon, 2010) and c) TEM images of CDCs produced by electrochemical etching of MAX phases.