18 July 2024
Acid electrodes boost supercapacitors for wearables

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Adhesive Electrodes Revolutionize Flexible Supercapacitors

Supercapacitors, known for their exceptional energy capture and storage capabilities, have been a subject of intense research to make them more suitable for wearable or implantable electronics like smartwatches and pacemakers. One of the challenges faced in advancing flexible 2D supercapacitors has been the complexity and cost involved in their fabrication. However, a breakthrough by a team from Jilin University in China has introduced an innovative adhesive electrode that addresses a critical issue hindering the progress of flexible supercapacitors—ensuring the components work together seamlessly.

All-in-One Adhesive Electrode Development

Corresponding author Wen Li, a professor at Jilin University, highlighted the common issues faced by flexible 2D supercapacitors, including intricate fabrication processes and poor mechanical endurance. The team’s solution involved the creation of a novel all-in-one adhesive electrode that simplifies fabrication and overcomes the interfacial displacement problem typically encountered in supercapacitors.

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Flexible 2D supercapacitors usually consist of a sandwich-stacked or 2D flat structure. The repeated mechanical deformation of these structures can lead to the displacement of the interface between electrodes and the electrolyte, reducing the effectiveness of the interfacial contact. This displacement results in increased interfacial contact resistance, diminishing the charge/discharge rate, energy storage performance, and stability of the supercapacitor.

Combining Materials for Enhanced Performance

To address these interfacial issues and eliminate the need for conducting metal wires, the researchers combined heteropoly acids (HPAs) with amino acids and carbon materials to create an all-in-one wet adhesive that carries out multiple functions simultaneously. HPAs, as nano-sized clusters with fast redox activity, enable quick and reliable energy charge and discharge, while the amino acids improve flexibility, and carbon materials enhance electronic conduction.

The resulting adhesive, patterned in a parallel manner to form flexible electrodes, bridges the gap between these electrodes by injecting a gel-electrolyte, thus creating a flexible 2D supercapacitor. The carbon components enhance electronic conduction, amino acids contribute to interfacial adhesion, and HPAs prevent the formation of larger structures while facilitating electron transfer and storage ability.

Future Implications and Research Directions

The team aims to develop substrate-independent and miniature flexible 2D supercapacitors for the creation of implantable power devices. The innovative adhesive electrodes provide adaptability and deformability, enabling the advancement of flexible supercapacitors for high-voltage output with metal-free interconnects.

This groundbreaking research opens up possibilities for the use of supercapacitors in a wider range of applications, especially in the field of wearable and implantable electronics. By simplifying the fabrication process and enhancing the performance of flexible supercapacitors, the all-in-one adhesive electrodes developed by the team at Jilin University represent a significant step forward in energy storage technology.


The integration of acids in the form of heteropoly acids, along with amino acids and carbon materials, has paved the way for the development of adhesive electrodes that revolutionize the field of flexible supercapacitors. The collaborative efforts of researchers have not only simplified the fabrication process but also addressed critical interfacial issues, making flexible 2D supercapacitors more efficient and practical for real-world applications. As advancements continue in this area of research, the potential for energy storage technology to evolve and cater to the demands of modern electronic devices is promising.

Links to additional Resources:

1. Nature.com 2. ScienceDirect.com 3. Jlu.edu.cn

Related Wikipedia Articles

Topics: Flexible supercapacitors, Electrode (electricity), Jilin University

A supercapacitor (SC), also called an ultracapacitor, is a high-capacity capacitor, with a capacitance value much higher than solid-state capacitors but with lower voltage limits. It bridges the gap between electrolytic capacitors and rechargeable batteries. It typically stores 10 to 100 times more energy per unit volume or mass than...
Read more: Supercapacitor

An electrode is an electrical conductor used to make contact with a nonmetallic part of a circuit (e.g. a semiconductor, an electrolyte, a vacuum or air). Electrodes are essential parts of batteries that can consist of a variety of materials depending on the type of battery. The electrophore, invented by...
Read more: Electrode

Jilin University
Jilin University (JLU) is a public university in Changchun, Jilin, China. It is affiliated with the Ministry of Education. The university is part of Project 211, Project 985, and the Double First-Class Construction.
Read more: Jilin University

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