Supercapacitors

Monash and Ionic cooperate to design graphene-based supercapacitors

Ionic Industries, a spin-off of minerals explorer Strategic Energy Resources, cooperated with Monash University to develop extremely thin graphene-based supercapacitors, able to store large amounts of energy.  According to Ionic, the first battery prototype should be available within six months and more sophisticated prototypes in three to five years.

The supercapacitors are tiny - smaller than the diameter of human hair, actually. They were created following two years of rigorous experiments, using an ion beam to etch the supercapacitors on to wafers made of graphene. They are said to be able to be fully recharged in minutes and last longer than present battery technologies.

Graphene market predicted to reach nearly $200 million by 2026

A recent IDTechEx research predicts that the graphene market will reach nearly $200 million by 2026, with the estimation that the largest sectors will be composites, energy applications and graphene coatings.

IDTechEx 2015 graphene market report image

Graphene inks are said to be constantly improving (while their prices seem to be dropping), which might promote, among others, applications like sensor electrodes and smart packaging. In the transparent conductive film industry, however, it is estimated that graphene will not be able to compete with ITO films.

Researchers use leaves as inspiration for graphene-based micro supercapacitor

An international team of researchers from the Center for Integrated Nanostructure Physics at the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) and Department of Energy Science at Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea, has devised a new technique for creating a graphene-based MSC (solid-state micro-supercapacitor) that is said to deliver improved electrochemical performance, with a design based on the intricate design of leaves.

The team designed their MSC film structure in compliance with vein-textured leaves in order to take advantage of the natural transport pathways which enable efficient ion diffusion parallel to the graphene planes found within them. To create this efficient shape, the team layered a graphene-hybrid film with copper hydroxide nanowires. After many alternating layers they achieved the desired thickness, and added an acid solution to dissolve the nanowires so that a thin film with nano-impressions was all that remained.

Skeleton Technologies to launch impressive new range of graphene-based supercapacitors

Skeleton Technologies announced the launch of a new range of supercapacitors that are said to offer the highest level of energy density on the market. Through the use of patented graphene material, the new series boasts a capacitance of 4500 farads. The company claims that the closest competitor product has a capacitance of only 3400 farads. 

Skeleton Technologies' SkelCap4500 image

Skeleton Technologies plans to use the SkelCap 4500 series to maximize opportunities in the heavy transportation and industrial markets where weight and space are at a premium. The new range has been designed for mass-market applications and the needs of systems engineers. The format has been developed to meet the industry standard of a 60 mm diameter cylindrical cell. Skeleton Technologies had previously offered prismatic cells, which are more compact in modular arrangements but more expensive to produce. Skeleton Technologies also claims to have achieved one of the lowest ESR (equivalent series resistance) levels on the market at 0.095 mΩ. This factor is crucial as it greatly increases the efficiency of the cells by reducing the amount of energy that is lost as heat. 

Skeleton Technologies raises €9.8 million for ramping up production of graphene ultracapacitors

Skeleton Technologies logoSkeleton Technologies, a European manufacturer of high-performance supercapacitors for transportation, industrial and grid applications, announced the completion of Series B financing of €9.8 million ($10.7 million) from a consortium led by a strategic investor in the electrical equipment sector. The round has been led by NASDAQ Tallinn noted Harju Elekter Group (HAE1T), which owns electrical equipment manufacturing plants in the Nordic-Baltic markets, and UP Invest, one of largest investment firms in the Baltic region.

Skeleton Technologies plans to use the funds for ramping up production of their graphene-based supercapacitors. In March 2015, Skeleton Technologies announced a deal with the European Space Agency to send supercapacitors into orbit for the first time in the European space programme.

Korean scientists create a graphene supercapacitor that equals Li-ion battery energy density and charges quickly

Scientists of the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea developed a graphene supercapacitor that stores as much energy per kilogram as a lithium-ion battery and can be recharged in under four minutes. 

The supercapacitor was created in two stages. First, the scientists exposed powdered graphite to oxygen in a controlled manner to produce graphite oxide, then continues to heat the graphite oxide to 160°C in a vessel which had an internal pressure of a tenth of an atmosphere. The chemical reactions that followed produced carbon dioxide and steam. The increased internal pressure these gases created, pushing against the reduced external pressure in the vessel, broke the graphite into its constituent sheets. Those, after a bit of further treatment to remove surplus oxygen, were then suitable for incorporation into a supercapacitor. 

Graphene infused with boric acid makes for super-performance supercapacitors

Scientists at Rice University designed a boric acid-infused graphene microsupercapacitor with quadrupled ability to store an electrical charge, while greatly boosting its energy density. This design may see potential applications in wearable electronics, as well as many other flexible electronics uses. 

Rice scientists infuse graphene supercapacitors with boric acid to increase performance image

The scientists used commercial lasers to create thin, flexible supercapacitors by burning patterns into common polymers. The laser burns away everything except for the carbon, to a depth of 20 microns on the top layer, which becomes a foam-like matrix of interconnected graphene flakes. They found that first infusing the polymer with boric acid, resulted in major performance advantages.

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