Small-amplitude oscillatory shear tests were used to determine the rheological properties of a copper acetate-doped resorcinol-formaldehyde mixture at between 30 and 40 °C. The apparent activation energy of the sol-gel transition was 76.6 ± 0.6 kJ/mol. Organic gel microspheres were only obtained when the sol was emulsified immediately before the gelation point and not at the gelation point itself, due to the fast gelation kinetics of the copper acetate-doped resorcinol-formaldehyde mixture. The microspherical shape was preserved after carbonization. Cu-doped carbon xerogel microspheres were steam-activated at 840 °C. All samples comprised isolated well-formed microspheres, whose size increased with higher degree of activation. The surface area and porosity varied with the activation degree. Copper was detected as CuO, which acted as gasification catalyst during activation, and its size increased with higher activation degree. Electrochemical measurements were conducted with a three-electrode cell in 1 M H2SO4. A very large volumetric capacitance, 146 F/cm3, was found for the 30%-activated Cu-doped activated carbon xerogel, attributable to the high particle density resulting from the very compact packing of the microspheres. This sample also showed the lowest equivalent series resistance, due to its pore texture and high surface Cu content.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was financed by the Junta de Andalucía. ZZB acknowledges a pre-doctoral fellowship from COLCIENCIAS, Colombia. JdV acknowledges the financial support received from MICINN MAT 2010-15101, P10-RNM-6630 and P11-FQM-7074 projects (Spain).