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Graphene for Supercapacitors

Graphene for Supercapacitors

  • September 2014
  • 41 pages
  • ID: 2382304

Summary

Table of Contents

Summary

Almost from the moment graphene was first successfully synthesized back in 2004, researchers around the world have envisioned its use for the electrodes of supercapacitors.

Supercapacitors, or ultracapacitors, or for the more technically inclined, electrochemical double layer capacitors (EDLCs), are a kind of hybrid between a capacitor and electrochemical batteries, like lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries. They can deliver an enormous amount of power very quickly, a capability known as power density (the maximum amount of power that can be supplied per unit mass), like a capacitor. But unlike capacitors, they can store that power for longer, a capability known as energy density (the amount of energy stored per unit mass).

In order for supercapacitors to store more electricity to start approaching the energy density of an electrochemical battery you need to increase the surface area of the electrodes. It is here on the electrodes that the electrical charge is stored via something akin to static electricity. The more surface area you can give the electrodes, the more electricity can be stored in the supercapacitor.


While research continues to see if graphene can be used to produce the long charge times for supercapacitors so sought after by all-electric vehicle enthusiasts, graphene does have other properties that could prove to be very attractive for other applications. For one, its high electrical conductivity is significantly better than activated carbon, which could open up applications in electronics. It also can be made into a structure unlike activated carbon, which is just sort of lumped together. With its ability to be structured, graphene has another attractive property for electronic applications in which it could be designed into electronic components.

This report looks at the strengths and weaknesses of graphene in supercapacitor applications and how those stack up against established materials and other potential materials being experimented with for supercapacitor applications.

To accomplish this aim this report looks at how supercapacitors are currently produced, who produces them and who among those producers appear to taking the prospects of graphene seriously. We also look at graphene manufacturing and the methods are best suited for leading to a material for the electrodes of supercapacitors.


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