• supercapacitors;
  • energy densities;
  • electrode materials

In recent years, tremendous research effort has been aimed at increasing the energy density of supercapacitors without sacrificing high power capability so that they reach the levels achieved in batteries and at lowering fabrication costs. For this purpose, two important problems have to be solved: first, it is critical to develop ways to design high performance electrode materials for supercapacitors; second, it is necessary to achieve controllably assembled supercapacitor types (such as symmetric capacitors including double-layer and pseudo-capacitors, asymmetric capacitors, and Li-ion capacitors). The explosive growth of research in this field makes this review timely. Recent progress in the research and development of high performance electrode materials and high-energy supercapacitors is summarized. Several key issues for improving the energy densities of supercapacitors and some mutual relationships among various effecting parameters are reviewed, and challenges and perspectives in this exciting field are also discussed. This provides fundamental insight into supercapacitors and offers an important guideline for future design of advanced next-generation supercapacitors for industrial and consumer applications.