Carbons and Electrolytes for Advanced Supercapacitors

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Abstract

Electrical energy storage (EES) is one of the most critical areas of technological research around the world. Storing and efficiently using electricity generated by intermittent sources and the transition of our transportation fleet to electric drive depend fundamentally on the development of EES systems with high energy and power densities. Supercapacitors are promising devices for highly efficient energy storage and power management, yet they still suffer from moderate energy densities compared to batteries. To establish a detailed understanding of the science and technology of carbon/carbon supercapacitors, this review discusses the basic principles of the electrical double-layer (EDL), especially regarding the correlation between ion size/ion solvation and the pore size of porous carbon electrodes. We summarize the key aspects of various carbon materials synthesized for use in supercapacitors. With the objective of improving the energy density, the last two sections are dedicated to strategies to increase the capacitance by either introducing pseudocapacitive materials or by using novel electrolytes that allow to increasing the cell voltage. In particular, advances in ionic liquids, but also in the field of organic electrolytes, are discussed and electrode mass balancing is expanded because of its importance to create higher performance asymmetric electrochemical capacitors.

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