The development shows supercapacitors can be produced in a small size for enabling extremely fast charging and increased battery lifespan
Supercapacitors hold a lot of promise regarding fast charging and increased battery life (up to 4x times compared to conventional batteries). Their advanced energy storage capabilities can lead to efficient energy distribution for applications including electric cars, smartphones, industrial technologies and more. But despite the benefits, existing supercapacitors are too large for many applications. They need to be about the same size as the battery they are connected to, which is an obstacle to accommodating them in mobile phones or electric cars.
Now researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have developed a breakthrough method with which supercapacitors can be produced in a much smaller size, making them compatible with several applications. Known as micro-supercapacitors, the newly developed, small-sized devices can be easily integrated into a system-on-a-chip (SoC). Each unit needs to be manufactured in such a way (commonly through CMOS technique) that they are compatible with other components in a system circuit and suited for different areas of use.
“We used a method known as spin coating, a cornerstone technique in many manufacturing processes. This allows us to choose different electrode materials. We also use alkylamine chains in reduced graphene oxide, to show how that leads to a higher charging and storage capacity,” explained Agin Vyas, doctoral student at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience at the Chalmers University of Technology.
He further added, “Our method is scalable and would involve reduced costs for the manufacturing process. It represents a great step forward in production technology and an important step towards the practical application of micro-supercapacitors in both everyday electronics and industrial applications.”
The method allows the production of micro-supercapacitors of up to ten different materials in one unified manufacturing process, which means that properties can be changed to suit several different end applications.