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Issue 1, 2013
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In situ tracking of the nanoscale expansion of porous carbon electrodes

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Abstract

Electrochemical double layer capacitors (EDLC) are rapidly emerging as a promising energy storage technology offering extremely large power densities. Despite significant experimental progress, nanoscale operation mechanisms of the EDLCs remain poorly understood and it is difficult to separate processes at multiple time and length scales involved in operation including that of double layer charging and ionic mass transport. Here we explore the functionality of EDLC microporous carbon electrodes using a combination of classical electrochemical measurements and scanning probe microscopy based dilatometry, thus separating individual stages in charge/discharge processes based on strain generation. These methods allowed us to observe two distinct modes of EDLC charging, one fast charging of the double layer unassociated with strain, and another much slower mass transport related charging exhibiting significant sample volume changes. These studies open the pathway for the exploration of electrochemical systems with multiple processes involved in the charge and discharge, and investigation of the kinetics of those processes.

Graphical abstract: In situ tracking of the nanoscale expansion of porous carbon electrodes

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Publication details

The article was received on 05 Oct 2012, accepted on 09 Nov 2012 and first published on 12 Nov 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2EE23707E
Citation: Energy Environ. Sci., 2013,6, 225-231
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    In situ tracking of the nanoscale expansion of porous carbon electrodes

    T. M. Arruda, M. Heon, V. Presser, P. C. Hillesheim, S. Dai, Y. Gogotsi, S. V. Kalinin and N. Balke, Energy Environ. Sci., 2013, 6, 225
    DOI: 10.1039/C2EE23707E

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