Printed Supercapacitor

Supercapacitors that can be printed on a flexible substrate similar to paper or cloth fabric can be used in place of conventional batteries in a variety of new applications.

A New Way to Create a Super Capacitor – [eepn.com]

Silk screen printing is a familiar process used to print T-shirts, stickers, textiles and circuit boards. But can you use this technique to print capacitors? A company called Cellergy thinks you can. It has adapted this method to print bipolar electrochemical double layer capacitors (ELDCs). But before we get into this printing technique, let’s take a closer look at an ELDC.

An electrochemical double layer capacitor is essentially a battery that has low energy content but a very high power capability. Its large capacitance results from the physical interface between solid and liquid. Upon applying voltage to this interface, charge separation occurs. On the solid side, electrons accumulate, and on the liquid side, counter ions accumulate thus forming an EDLC. Enormous capacitances can be achieved. They are much larger than the capacitances of standard capacitors due to the use of activated carbon with large surface areas (~2000 m2/gr) as the solid electrode material.

EDLCs, often called super capacitors, are found in some power related applications in the electronics industry such as GSM burst transmission, PCMCIA cards, and medical devices. An EDLC coupled with a battery can supply large power pulses backed by the energy pool of the battery. Most EDLC manufacturers commonly use comparatively slow manufacturing processes to produce EDLCs, such as winding of films or “pick and place” of capacitor components, thus leading to a costly product. The production of some products even necessitate the use of extremely dry electrolytes requiring dry rooms and complex electrolyte filling processes.

Printable Thin Film Supercapacitors Using Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes – [acs.org]

Thin film supercapacitors were fabricated using printable materials to make flexible devices on plastic. The active electrodes were made from sprayed networks of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) serving as both electrodes and charge collectors. Using a printable aqueous gel electrolyte as well as an organic liquid electrolyte, the performances of the devices show very high energy and power densities (6 W h/kg for both electrolytes and 23 and 70 kW/kg for aqueous gel electrolyte and organic electrolyte, respectively) which is comparable to performance in other SWCNT-based supercapacitor devices fabricated using different methods. The results underline the potential of printable thin film supercapacitors. The simplified architecture and the sole use of printable materials may lead to a new class of entirely printable charge storage devices allowing for full integration with the emerging field of printed electronics.

Nanotube Ink Printed Super Capacitors – [ultracapacitors.org]

So our friends at the University of California guided by George Gruner have manipulated molecules and developed a Nanotube Ink. A Nanotube Ink?? Yes. where supercapacitors and batteries can be printed on the surface of electronics. Wow… the ability to print flexible super capacitors and batteries directly on electronics will be incredible for so many disposable devices like RFID Tags and very small displays. The batteries are similar to conventional batteries, says Gruner, with the electrically conducting nanoscale networks replacing conventional metals and electrodes.

Their current challenge is that the batteries and supercapacitors they produced were only tested with very low power. They are working now on increasing the power output. Gruner said that since both the printed super-capacitors and batteries can be made at room temperatures, it would be feasible for these to be mass produced using our current methods. As soon as they figure out how to produce more power we will see the make its way to our everyday portable electronics.

Printed supercapacitor could feed power-hungry gadgets – [newscientist.com]

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