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September 21, 2010

Highly Flexible and All-Solid-State Paperlike Polymer Supercapacitors

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Nanoletters - Highly Flexible and All-Solid-State Paperlike Polymer Supercapacitors with six times higher energy current.
Given its high capacitance and flexibility that surpass current commercial supercapacitors, the new supercapacitor should be attractive for use in wearable electronics. Combined with flexible large-scale integrated circuits, these new supercapacitors could enable a lightweight and flexible notebook computer.

In recent years, much effort have been dedicated to achieve thin, lightweight and even flexible energy-storage devices for wearable electronics. Here we demonstrate a novel kind of ultrathin all-solid-state supercapacitor configuration with an extremely simple process using two slightly separated polyaniline-based electrodes well solidified in the H2SO4-polyvinyl alcohol gel electrolyte. The thickness of the entire device is much comparable to that of a piece of commercial standard A4 print paper. Under its highly flexible (twisting) state, the integrate device shows a high specific capacitance of 350 F/g for the electrode materials, well cycle stability after 1000 cycles and a leakage current of as small as 17.2 μA. Furthermore, due to its polymer-based component structure, it has a specific capacitance of as high as 31.4 F/g for the entire device, which is more than 6 times that of current high-level commercial supercapacitor products. These highly flexible and all-solid-state paperlike polymer supercapacitors may bring new design opportunities of device configuration for energy-storage devices in the future wearable electronic area.

7 page pdf with supplemental information

Materials                ρ (g/cm3)       Mass content (%)
buckypaper                0.60            12.5
PANI                      1.13            23.3
CNT/PANI nanocomposite    0.81           (35.8)
H2SO4-PVA gel electrolyte 1.40            64.2
total device              1.18           100


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