A method for fabricating thin, flat carbon electrodes by infiltrating highly porous carbon papers, membranes, felts, metal fibers/powders, or fabrics with an appropriate carbon foam precursor material. The infiltrated carbon paper, for example, is then cured to form a gel-saturated carbon paper, which is subsequently dried and pyrolyzed to form a thin sheet of porous carbon. The material readily stays flat and flexible during curing and pyrolyzing to form thin sheets. Precursor materials include polyacrylonitrile (PAN), polymethylacrylonitrile (PMAN), resorcinol/formaldehyde, catechol/formaldehyde, phenol/formaldehyde, etc., or mixtures thereof. These thin films are ideal for use as high power and energy electrodes in batteries, capacitors, and fuel cells, and are potentially useful for capacitive deionization, filtration and catalysis.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.