Polyindole Embedded Nickel/Zinc Oxide Nanocomposites for High-Performance Energy Storage Applications
Conducting polymers integrated with metal oxides create opportunities for hybrid capacitive electrodes. In this work, we report a one-pot oxidative polymerization for the synthesis of integrated conductive polyindole/nickel oxide (PIn/NiO), polyindole/zinc oxide (PIn/ZnO), and polyindole/nickel oxide/zinc oxide (PNZ). The polymers were analyzed thoroughly for their composition and physical as well as chemical properties by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy (UV–Vis), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The PIn and its composites were processed into electrodes, and their use in symmetrical supercapacitors in two- and three-electrode setups was evaluated by cyclic voltammetry (CV), galvanostatic discharge (GCD), and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The best electrochemical charge storage capability was found for the ternary PNZ composite. The high performance directly correlates with its uniformly shaped nanofibrous structure and high crystallinity. For instance, the symmetrical supercapacitor fabricated with PNZ hybrid electrodes shows a high specific capacitance of 310.9 F g −1 at 0.5 A g −1 with an energy density of 42.1 Wh kg −1 , a power density of 13.2 kW kg −1 , and a good cycling stability of 78.5% after 5000 cycles. This report presents new electrode materials for advanced supercapacitor technology based on these results.