Disordered carbons were synthesized at 700.degree. C. from methacrylonitrile-divinylbenzene precursors. The disorder, even at the free surface, was confirmed with TEM. These powdered carbons were subjected to rapid surface heating by a pulsed infrared laser (59 MW pulses). While the bulk structure remained essentially unchanged, there was substantial "surface reconstruction" to a depth of 0.25 .mu.m presumably due to ablation, re-deposition, and "recrystallization" of the surface carbon after heating by the laser. The surface ordering appears similar to the bulk microstructure of carbons isothermally annealed at 2,200.degree. C. (i.e., turbostatic). Improvements were observed in first cycle irreversible loss, rate capability, and coulombic efficiencies of the "reconstructed" carbons, relative to the untreated carbon.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
This invention was made with Government support under contract no. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Sandia Corporation. The Government has certain rights in the invention.