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Supercapacitor promises better batteries, faster EVs

Posted: 21 May 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:University of California Riverside? superpacitor? ruthenium oxide?

A novel nanometre scale ruthenium oxide-based nanocarbon graphene foam architecture yields a supercapacitor that promises faster acceleration in electric vehicles and longer battery life in portable electronics.

Developed by researchers at the University of California Riverside, the supercapacitors based on transition metal oxide modified nanocarbon graphene foam electrode were found to work safely in aqueous electrolyte, and deliver two times more energy and power compared to supercapacitors commercially available today.

Microscopic images

The image shows: (a) schematic illustration of the preparation process of RGM nanostructure foam, (bCc) SEM images of as-grown GM foam (d) Lightly loaded RGM, and (e) heavily loaded RGM. Source: University of California, Riverside

The foam electrode was successfully cycled over 8,000 times with no fading in performance. The findings were outlined in the journal Nature Scientific Reports. The paper was written by graduate student Wei Wang; Cengiz S. Ozkan, a mechanical engineering professor at UC Riverside's Bourns College of Engineering; Mihrimah Ozkan, an electrical engineering professor; Francisco Zaera, a chemistry professor; Ilkeun Lee, a researcher in Zaera's lab; and other graduate students Shirui Guo, Kazi Ahmed and Zachary Favors.

Led by the Ozkans, the team is working to develop and commercialise nanostructured materials for high energy density supercapacitors.

High capacitance, or the ability to store an electrical charge, is critical to achieve higher energy density. Meanwhile, to achieve a higher power density it is critical to have a large electrochemically accessible surface area, high electrical conductivity, short ion diffusion pathways and excellent interfacial integrity. Nanostructured active materials provide a mean to these ends.

"Besides high energy and power density, the designed graphene foam electrode system also demonstrates a facile and scalable binder-free technique for preparing high energy supercapacitor electrodes," Wang said. "These promising properties mean that this design could be ideal for future energy storage applications."

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