Reversible insertion of a trivalent cation onto MnO2 leading to enhanced capacitance

Prasant Kumar Nayak, N. Munichandraiah

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Supercapacitor properties of MnO2 are studied generally in aqueous alkali metal salt solutions, often in a Na salt solution. During electrochemical discharge-charge processes, Na+ ions from the electrolyte get reversibly inserted/deinserted on the surface of MnO2 particles, which leads to redox reaction between MnOONa and MnO2. In the present study, it has been shown that MnO2 exhibits enhanced capacitance behaviour in a rare earth metal salt solution, namely, La(NO 3)3 solution in comparison with NaNO3 and Mg(NO3)2 aqueous solutions. The specific capacitance increases with an increase in charge on the solution cation (Na+, Mg2+ and La3+). It is proposed that the number of surface sites for adsorption of cations remains unaltered in all solutions. The surface insertion of cation facilitates the reduction of Mn4+ in MnO 2 to Mn3+ equivalent to the charge present on the cation. As the specific capacitance is related to the quantity of charge that is exchanged between the solid MnO2 and the aqueous solution, the trivalent cation (La3+) provides greater specific capacitance than in Mg(NO3)2 and NaNO3 electrolytes. Accordingly, the number of Mn(IV)/Mn(III) redox pairs involved in the neighbourhood of the adsorption site is one, two and three when Na+, Mg2+ and La3+ ions, respectively, are adsorbed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)A585-A591
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


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