Understanding the characteristics of conducting polymer-redox biopolymer supercapacitors†
The growth of renewable energy production has sparked a huge demand for cheap and large-scale electrical storage solutions. Organic supercapacitors and batteries are envisioned as one, among several, candidates for this task due to the great abundance of their constituent materials. In particular, the class of supercapacitors based on conjugated polymer-redox biopolymer composites are of great interest, since they combine the benefit of high electrical conductivity of the conducting polymers with the low cost and high specific capacitance of redox biopolymers. The optimization of such complex systems is a grand challenge and until now there have been a lack of models available to ease that task. Here, we present a novel model that combines the charge transport and impedance properties of conducting polymers with the electrochemical characteristics of redox polymers. The model reproduces a wide range of experimental data and elucidates the coupling of several critical processes within these supercapacitors, such as the double-layer capacitance, redox kinetics and dissolution/release of the redox polymer to the electrolyte. Further, the model also predicts the dependencies of the power and energy densities on the electrode composition. The developed model shows how organic supercapacitors can be analyzed beyond archetypical equivalent circuit models and thus constitutes a promising tool for further advancements and optimization within the field of research of green energy storage technology.
- This article is part of the themed collections: Recent Open Access Articles and Journal of Materials Chemistry A Emerging Investigators