When the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to two British scientists for their work with graphene, the Royal Swedish Academy press release said, “Carbon, the basis of all life, has surprised us once again.”
Materials scientists across the world are now seeking applications for this unusual two-dimensional material, which conducts electricity better than copper, is up to 300 times stronger than steel, and has unique optical properties.
Tsu-Wei Chou, Pierre S. du Pont Chair of Engineering at the University of Delaware, is part of an international research group that recently reported successful fabrication of stretchable and transparent supercapacitors based on graphene films. The work was published online in ACS NANO on Aug. 21.
Supercapacitors play a transitional role between conventional capacitors and batteries as energy storage devices due to their combination of high power density, long cycle life, outstanding cycle stability, and moderate energy density. Their applications range from memory backup devices and hybrid vehicles to a variety of electronic devices.
The paper reporting the accomplishment, “Laminated Ultrathin Chemical Vapor Deposition Graphene Film Based Stretchable and Transparent High-Rate Supercapacitor,” was co-authored by researchers from Donghua University in the People’s Republic of China and Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU) in South Korea. SKKU is internationally known for its research work in graphene.
“Numerous researchers worldwide are working on the application of graphene to supercapacitors,” Chou says. “Our contribution focuses on a stretchable supercapacitor and the use of thin graphene films, which are relatively new. The advantage of stretchable supercapacitors is their potential to be integrated with textiles and provide energy to wearable devices.”
According to Chou, the supercapacitor produced in the study demonstrated a unique combination of excellent stretchability, high optical transparency, and outstanding electrochemical performance and stability.
“Overall, depending on the requirements of targeted applications, the optimal combination of these multiple functions could be accomplished through supercapacitor design, such as modifying graphene electrodes, selecting electrolytes with high operating voltage, and adopting an asymmetric design,” Chou says.
The paper was co-authored by Ping Xu, Junmo Kang, Jae-Boong Choi, Jonghwan Suhr, Jianyong Yu, Faxue Li, Joon-Hyung Byun, Byung-Sun Kim, and Tsu-Wei Chou.
In addition to Chou, several of the contributors have UD connections. Xu is a visiting doctoral student (2012-14), Suhr was formerly a member of the faculty in the UD Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Byun earned his Ph.D. at UD under Chou’s advisement in 1991.
Release Date: September 25, 2014
Source: University of Delaware