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SCIENCE CHINA Materials, Volume 61 , Issue 12 : 1517-1526(2018) https://doi.org/10.1007/s40843-018-9290-y

The way to improve the energy density of supercapacitors: Progress and perspective

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  • ReceivedFeb 5, 2018
  • AcceptedApr 27, 2018
  • PublishedJun 27, 2018

Abstract

Compared with other energy storage devices, supercapacitors have superior qualities, including a long cycling life, fast charge/discharge processes, and a high safety rating. The practical use of supercapacitor devices is hindered by their low energy density. Here, we briefly review the factors that influence the energy density of supercapacitors. Furthermore, possible pathways for enhancing the energy density via improving capacitance and working voltage are discussed. In particular, we offer our perspective on the most exciting developments regarding high-energy-density supercapacitors, with an emphasis on future trends. We conclude by discussing the various types of supercapacitors and highlight crucial tasks for achieving a high energy density.


Funded by

the National Natural Science Foundation of China(21371023)


Acknowledgment

This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21371023).


Interest statement

The authors declare no competing interests.


Contributions statement

Both authors participate in the manuscript preparation and general discussions.


Author information

Chuanbao Cao is currently the chief responsible professor of the School of Materials Science and Engineering, Director of Research Center of Materials Science of Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT), China. His research is focused on the electrochemical energy storage and conversion including electrode materials of super-capacitors, lithium ion battery, and photo-electrochemical materials. Until now, he has published more than 300 peer-reviewed research papers, holds or has filed 50 patents and patent applications.


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  • Figure 1

    Schematic illustration of future supercapacitors device for EVs.

  • Figure 2

    Schematic illustration of various routes to increase energy density of supercapacitor.

  • Table 1   Comparison of performances of supercapacitor and battery

    Performance

    Supercapacitor

    Battery

    Mechanism

    Physical or chemical

    Chemical

    Safety

    ★★★★★

    ★★★☆

    Charge time

    Short (seconds-level)

    Long (hours-level)

    Cycling life

    Long (>105 cycles)

    Limited (~103 cycles)

    Power

    High (>104 W kg−1)

    Low (~103 W kg−1)

    Energy

    Limited (<10 W h kg−1)

    High (~200 W h kg−1)

  • Table 2   Typical examples of reported EDLCs performances

    Electrode

    Electrolyte

    SBET

    (m2 g−1)

    C

    (F g−1)

    Potential

    (V)

    Energy density

    Based on

    Ref.

    Carbon nanospheres

    KOH

    2225

    230

    1.0

    /

    /

    [13]

    N-doped carbon nanofiber

    KOH

    562

    202

    1.0

    7.11 W h kg−1

    Device

    [21]

    N-doped 3D graphene

    KOH

    583

    297

    0.8

    15.2 W h kg−1

    Device

    [23]

    Functionalized 3D carbon

    KOH

    2870

    236.3

    1.0

    /

    /

    [24]

    Mesoporous carbon

    H2SO4

    Li2SO4

    Li2SO4

    1580

    1580

    1580

    840

    740

    740

    1.2

    1.6

    1.6

    39.5 W h kg−1

    63 W h kg−1

    41 W h kg−1

    Active material

    Active material

    Device

    [20]

    N-rich carbon-graphene

    PVA/H2SO4

    814

    -

    1.0

    33.89 W h kg−1

    Device

    [22]

    N-rich nanocarbon

    H2SO4

    500

    166

    1.0

    /

    /

    [25]

    Activation of Graphene

    BMIMBF4/AN

    2400

    166

    3.5

    70 W h kg−1

    20 W h kg−1

    Active material

    Device

    [12]

    Porous carbon nanosheets

    TEABF4/AN

    2200

    150

    2.7

    30 W h kg−1

    Device

    [16]

    Holely graphene

    EMIMBF4/AN

    1560

    298

    3.5

    127 W h kg−1

    Active material

    [18]

    Hierarchical carbon

    BMIMPF6/AN

    2582

    207

    3.5

    89 W h kg−1

    Active material

    [14]

    3D porous networks

    TEMABF4/PC

    1810

    178

    2.5

    38 W h kg−1

    Active material

    [19]

    Functionalized 3D carbon

    (C2H5)4NBF4/AN

    2870

    224.5

    2.5

    /

    /

    [24]

    Porous carbon

    TEABF4/AN

    3270

    210

    2.0

    42 W h kg−1

    Active material

    [32]

    Carbon flake

    LiPF6

    1306

    126

    3.0

    45.33 W h kg−1

    Device

    [28]

    Microporous carbon

    LiPF6

    1230

    88

    3.0

    56 W h kg−1

    Active material

    [35]

    Carbon nanosheets

    BMPY TFSI

    2287

    -

    3

    19 W h kg−1

    Device

    [17]

    Activated graphene

    EMIM TFSI

    3290

    174

    3.5

    74 W h kg−1

    Device

    [15]

    N-doped porous carbon

    EMIMBF4

    2494

    242

    3.5

    102 W h kg−1

    Active material

    [27]

    3D porous carbon

    EMIMBF4

    2475

    196

    3.5

    70 W h kg−1

    Active material

    [29]

    Porous carbon nanosheet

    EMIMBF4

    3326

    244

    3.5

    104 W h kg−1

    Active material

    [31]

    Porous carbon flake

    EMIMBF4

    3301

    246

    3.5

    103 W h kg−1

    Active material

    [33]

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