SCIENCE CHINA Materials, Volume 62 , Issue 8 : 1115-1126(2019) https://doi.org/10.1007/s40843-019-9405-8

Porous NiCoP nanowalls as promising electrode with high-area and mass capacitance for supercapacitors

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  • ReceivedJan 22, 2019
  • AcceptedFeb 16, 2019
  • PublishedApr 4, 2019


The design of the electrode with high-area and mass capacitance is important for the practical application of supercapacitors. Here, we fabricated the porous NiCoP nanowalls supported by Ni foam (NiCo-P/NF) for supercapacitors with win-win high-area and mass capacitance. The NiCoOH nanowall precursor was prepared by controlling the deposition rate of Ni2+ and Co2+ on NF through a sodium acetate-assisted (floride-free) process. After the phosphorization, the NiCo-P nanowalls formed with high loading about 8.6 mg cm−2 on NF. The electrode combined several advantages favorable for energy storage: the plentiful pores beneficial for ion transport, the nanowalls for easy accommodation of electrolyte, good conductivity of NiCo-P for easy transport of electrons. As expected, the NiCo-P/NF exhibited a high specific mass capacitance (1,861 F g−1 at 1 A g−1, 1,070 F g−1 at 10 A g−1), and high area capacitance (17.31 F cm−2 at 5 mA cm−2 and 10 F cm−2 at 100 mA cm−2). The asymmetric supercapacitor (ASC) composed of NiCo-P/NF positive electrode coupled with commercial active carbon negative electrode exhibited a high energy density of 44.9 W h kg−1 at a power density of 750 W kg−1. The ASC can easily drive fans, electronic watch and LED lamps, implying their potential for the practical application.

Funded by

We gratefully acknowledge the support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China(21571054,21631004,21805073,21771059)

and the basic research fund of Heilongjiang University in Heilongjiang Province(RCYJTD201801)


We gratefully acknowledge the support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21571054, 21631004, 21805073 and 21771059), the Natural Science Foundation of Heilongjiang Province (QC2018013), and the Basic Research Fund of Heilongjiang University in Heilongjiang Province (RCYJTD201801).

Interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Contributions statement

Zhang X performed the experiments with help from Fu H and Tian C. Tian C, Zhang X and Fu H wrote this paper. All authors contributed to the general discussion.

Author information

Xiaomeng Zhang received her BSc and MSc degrees from Heilongjiang University in 2013 and 2016, respectively. She is currently a PhD candidate in inorganic chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Honggang Fu at Heilongjiang University. Her current research focuses on the design and synthesis of nanomaterials for energy storage.

Chungui Tian received his BSc degree in 1997 from Inner Mongolia University for Nationalities. In 2004 and 2007, he received his MSc and PhD degrees from Northeast Normal University under the guidance of Prof. Enbo Wang. Then, he joined Heilongjiang University as a lecturer. He became an assistant professor and a full professor in 2009 and 2014, respectively. His interest focuses on the designed synthesis and electrocatalytic application of W(Mo,V)-based nanomaterials. Up to now, he has published over 30 SCI papers as corresponding author with over 1,000 citations.

Honggang Fu received his BSc degree in 1984 and MSc degree in 1987 from Jilin University, China. Then, he joined Heilongjiang University as an assistant professor. In 1999, he received his PhD degree from Harbin Institute of Technology, China. He became a full professor in 2000. Currently, he is a Cheung Kong Scholar. His interest focuses on the oxide-based semiconductor nanomaterials for solar energy conversion and photocatalysis, carbon-based nanomaterials for energy conversion and storage, and W(Mo,V)-based catalysts for HER and OER. Up to now, he has published over 300 SCI papers as corresponding author with over 13,000 citations and H-index of 60.


Supplementary information

Supporting data are available in the online version of the paper.


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  • Figure 1

    Schematic fabrication process of NiCo-P/NF.

  • Figure 2

    (a) XRD of NiCoOH/NF and NiCo-P-6/NF; SEM images of (b) NiCoOH/NF and (c) NiCo-P-6/NF; (d) TEM image of NiCoOH/NF, and the HRTEM images of the selected areas (e, f); TEM images of NiCo-P-6/NF (g, h) and the HRTEM images of the selected areas (i).

  • Figure 3

    (a) The survey spectrum of NiCoOH/NF and NiCo-P-6/NF; (b) high resolution spectra of Ni 2p, and (c) Co 2p of NiCoOH/NF. High resolution spectra of Ni 2p (d), Co 2p (e) and P 2p (f) of NiCo-P-6/NF.

  • Figure 4

    Electrochemical evaluation of the Ni foam-supported samples: (a) CV curves at a scan rate of 10 mV s−1, and (b) GCD profiles at 1 A g−1; (c) CV curves of NiCo-P-6/NF at 5–100 mV s−1; (d) charge-discharge curves at 1–10 A g−1; (e) specific capacitances at varied GCD current densities of the Ni foam-supported electrodes; (f) the Nyquist plot of the NiCoOH/NF, NiCo-P-6/NF, Co-P/NF and Ni-P/NF electrode.

  • Figure 5

    Electrochemical performances of the NiCo-P-6/NF||AC ASC: (a) schematic of the assembled structure of energy storage device based on NiCo-P-6/NF as positive electrode and AC as negative electrode; (b) CV curves of the NiCo-P-6/NF and AC electrodes at a scan rate of 20 mV s−1 in 2 mol L−1 KOH electrolyte; (c) CV curves of the ASC at 20 mV s−1 with different voltage window; (d) CV curves of the ASC collected at 5–50 mV s−1.

  • Figure 6

    Electrochemical performances of the NiCo-P-6/NF||AC ASC: (a) GCD curves of the ASC collected at various current densities; (b) the specific capacitances at different current densities; (c) cycling performance of the ASC at 5 A g−1; (d) Ragone plots of the NiCo-P-6/NF||AC and reported Ni or Co-based ASC; the fully charged ASC operates an electric motor fan (e), digital electronic (f) and red, yellow, blue and green LED (g).

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