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Friday, 12 December 2014

A new energy storage device based on hybrid electrodes

The ICN2 Novel Energy-Oriented Materials Group has developed a new model of hybrid energy storage device using a sponge based structure coated with Graphene and hybrid Graphene composite electrodes. The research has been published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Combining the best of different worlds is at the heart of hybridization. When it comes to energy storage a strategic goal is merging the high-energy of batteries with the high-power of supercapacitors in a single device. Such research in hybrid energy storage devices is being developed at ICN2  by the Novel Energy-Oriented Materials Group (NEO-Energy), led by CSIC Research Prof Pedro Gómez-Romero. The results of their investigation have been published in the Open Access journal Scientific Reports, from the Nature Publishing Group. The first author of the article is Dr. Deepak Dubal, who played a key role in the design of these materials.

The aim of this research is to develop new devices able to store big amounts of electrical energy with high power performance. Batteries have a large energy storage capability, while supercapacitors stand out for their high power, the fast charge-discharge rates and their excellent cycling life. Thus, by combining the storage mechanisms of both, some interesting hybrid materials and devices can be obtained.

The device suggested by ICN2 researches is a curious mixture of high-tech and low-tech contributions. The electrodes are made using a common sponge base with 3D porous structure coated with reduced graphene oxide. Being soft, lightweight, flexible and cost-effective makes the sponge an ideal substrate for the device. One of the electrodes is then covered with a transition metal hydroxide (Ni or Co) so it becomes hybrid and provides enhanced energy density.

The applications of these energy storage devices are similar to the ones of the supercapacitors but their new hybrid configuration allows them to work at higher power while storing more energy. Supercapacitors are used in situations where a short peak of high energy is required, such as in electric cars, automatic doors, elevators, and many everyday life applications that involve energy storage. This study leads to new research fields related to developing similar devices with enhanced energy characteristics.


Article Reference:

Dubal, D.P., Holze, R., Gómez-Romero,P. Development of hybrid materials based on sponge supported reduced graphene oxide and transition metal hydroxides for hybrid energy storage devices. Scientific Reports, 2014, 4, Article number: 7349  doi:10.1038/srep07349