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Issue 45, 2017
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Flexible, aqueous-electrolyte supercapacitors based on water-processable dioxythiophene polymer/carbon nanotube textile electrodes

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Abstract

Water-processed, aqueous electrolyte supercapacitors are demonstrated incorporating an alternating copolymer of a functionalized 3,4-propylenedioxythiophene unit with a 2,2′-bis(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) unit (PE2) into carbon nanotube textiles. The side chains functionalizing PE2 allow the solubility to be tuned from the organic soluble precursor polymer, to a water-soluble polyelectrolyte, and finally to a solvent resistant form by a dilute acid wash (SR-PE2). Thin SR-PE2 films (60 μg cm−2) are electroactive over a wide potential window with a mass capacitance of 54 F g−1 at a discharge rate of 1.6 s (38 A g−1). These films exhibit a 65% capacitance retention at an 80 millisecond discharge time (560 A g−1). Flexible, free-standing electrodes were fabricated by depositing SR-PE2 onto a nonwoven carbon nanotube textile (CNT-T) and were assembled into symmetrical, flexible supercapacitors where the addition of polymer resulted in a boost in volumetric capacitance by 400 percent compared to the bare CNT-T electrode. Independent of whether the SR-PE2 films are cast from an organic solvent or water, device electrodes exhibit 11.4 F cm−3 (45 mF cm−2, 15.9 F g−1) which leads to an energy density of 0.10 mW h cm−3 at 7.5 mW cm−3 considering the total device volume. The CNT-T imparts a high degree of flexibility allowing the supercapacitors to retain 88% of their charge storage capacity when bent to a 0.8 mm radius as well as complete capacitance retention after 2000 bending cycles to a 3.5 mm radius. The devices assembled in air with a benign KCl electrolyte maintained 83% capacitance retention after 10 000 charge/discharge cycles highlighting the stability of these materials and utility for this processing approach for high throughput energy storage devices.

Graphical abstract: Flexible, aqueous-electrolyte supercapacitors based on water-processable dioxythiophene polymer/carbon nanotube textile electrodes

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Publication details

The article was received on 08 Sep 2017, accepted on 01 Nov 2017 and first published on 09 Nov 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TA07932J
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017,5, 23887-23897
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    Flexible, aqueous-electrolyte supercapacitors based on water-processable dioxythiophene polymer/carbon nanotube textile electrodes

    Augustus W. Lang, J. F. Ponder, A. M. Österholm, N. J. Kennard, R. H. Bulloch and J. R. Reynolds, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, 5, 23887
    DOI: 10.1039/C7TA07932J

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