Undergraduate Research & Mentoring Program

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-23-2018


Supercapacitors, Oxidation-reduction reaction, Electrodes -- Technological innovations, Nanoparticles -- Synthesis, Graphene -- Electric properties


In a world with increasing energy demands, the need for safe and mobile energy storage grows. There are a number of renewable energy sources that can be harvested, however peak demand and peak production times tend to not overlap. As the capabilities of collecting the energy grows so does the need to store the energy for later consumption. The two promising methods of storing energy are batteries or supercapacitors. Both technologies employ an electrode consisting of an active material bound to a current collector. This material participates in a redox reaction, storing charge electrochemically to later be used as energy, powering our electronic devices. Electrode technology currently uses polymer binders to apply active material on the current collector. Polymers binders, commonly polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), are nonconductive carbon chains with resistances up to 3.6x1012 Ω, causing a loss of energy as charge flows through them. Furthermore the binder can be both chemically and mechanically degraded, resulting in a loss of contact between the active material and the current collector. This slowly lowers energy storage and the life time of the electrodes.

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