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Indole-based conjugated macromolecules as a redox-mediated electrolyte for an ultrahigh power supercapacitor

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Abstract

Balancing energy density and power density has been a critical challenge since the inception of supercapacitors. Introducing redox-active additives in the supporting electrolyte has been shown to increase the energy density, however the power density and cycling stability are severely hampered in the process. Herein, an extensively conjugated indole-based macromolecule consisting of 5,6-dihydroxyindole/5,6-quinoneindole motifs, prepared by electrochemical polymerization of dopamine under acidic conditions, was employed as a redox-active additive. By utilizing the conjugation effect, the HOMO–LUMO gap (HLG) of the extensively conjugated indole-based macromolecule was reduced to ca. 2.08 eV, which enhanced the electronic transfer kinetics, in turn improving the power density and reversibility of redox reactions. When coupled with a porous honeycomb-like carbon (PHC) electrode, the assembled supercapacitor delivered an excellent rate performance with a high specific capacitance of 205 F g−1 at 1000 A g−1. This work reports one of the highest power densities recorded at 153 kW kg−1 for redox-mediated electrolyte systems with a respectable energy density of 8.8 W h kg−1. In addition to an excellent cycling stability of 97.1% capacitance retention after 20 000 charge/discharge cycles, the conjugation degree has to be considered when engineering the redox-active electrolyte so as to improve the power density and stability.

Graphical abstract: Indole-based conjugated macromolecules as a redox-mediated electrolyte for an ultrahigh power supercapacitor

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Publication details

The article was received on 11 Sep 2017, accepted on 06 Oct 2017 and first published on 06 Oct 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7EE02584J
Citation: Energy Environ. Sci., 2017, Advance Article
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    Indole-based conjugated macromolecules as a redox-mediated electrolyte for an ultrahigh power supercapacitor

    T. Xiong, W. S. V. Lee, L. Chen, T. L. Tan, X. Huang and J. Xue, Energy Environ. Sci., 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7EE02584J

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