A hierarchical mesoporous carbon foam (ECF) with an interconnected micro-/mesoporous architecture was prepared and used as a binder-free, low-cost, high-performance anode for lithium ion batteries. Due to its high specific surface area (980.6 m2/g), high porosity (99.6%), light weight (5 mg/cm3) and narrow pore size distribution (~2 to 5 nm), the ECF anode exhibited a high reversible specific capacity of 455 mAh/g. Experimental results also demonstrated that the anode thickness significantly influence the specific capacity of the battery. Meanwhile, the ECF anode retained a high rate performance and an excellent cycling performance approaching 100% of its initial capacity over 300 cycles at 0.1 A/g. In addition, no binders, carbon additives or current collectors are added to the ECF based cells that will increase the total weight of devices. The high electrochemical performance was mainly attributed to the combined favorable hierarchical structures which can facilitate the Li+ accessibility and also enable the fast diffusion of electron into the electrode during the charge and discharge process. The synthesis process used to make this elastic carbon foam is readily scalable to industrial applications in energy storage devices such as li-ion battery and supercapacitor.
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