Effect of gold and silver nanoislands on the electrochemical properties of carbon nanofoam
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•Metallic nanoislands coated on the exterior surface of carbon nanofoam.•Their properties are dependent on the type of the metallic nanoisland.•The gold-associated redox reactions enhance their electrochemical performance.Carbon nanofoam electrodes were fabricated by picosecond ultrafast pulsed laser deposition at room temperature. Silver and gold nanoislands were deposited onto the electrodes by sputtering. Compared with bare carbon, a substantial enhancement in the electrochemical performance, both in terms of magnitude and of temporal response was clearly observed only for the case of the gold covered electrodes. The specific capacitance of these electrodes reached 130Fg−1. This is a value among the best ever reported for low temperature grown, non-activated carbon based hosts and it was observed to be stable up to 500 continuous charge intercalation/deintercalation scans. The effect of the noble metal and its nanoisland form on the enhancement of the electrochemical behaviour of the carbon nanofoams is discussed.