Jun 17, 2016 | By Benedict

Researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and UC Santa Cruz (UCSC) have devised a method for doubling the performance of 3D printed graphene-based supercapacitors. The method involves sandwiching lithium ion and perchlorate ion between layers of graphene in aerogel electrodes.

Earlier this year, we reported on an exciting research project in which scientists were using graphene-based inks to 3D print ultra-light supercapacitors. The researchers on that project believed that the technology could be used to massively improve energy storage in a variety of electronic products, such as smartphones, electric cars, and wireless sensors. Now, those same researchers have devised a method for doubling the performance of those 3D printed supercapacitors, further increasing their potential usefulness for a variety of customized electronic devices.

The new technique involves sandwiching lithium ion and perchlorate ion between layers of graphene in aerogel electrodes—a process which greatly improves the capacity of the electrodes while maintaining the high rate capability of the devices. “This is a unique method that significantly raises the performance of our previous graphene aerogel supercapacitors,” said Cheng Zhu, LLNL engineer and co-author on the paper. “We’ve modified the devices and found the best recipe.”

The 3D printing process used by the researchers to build the supercapacitors is a form of direct ink writing, consisting of two ion-intercalation steps before the hydrolysis of perchlorate ion intercalation compounds. “This two-step electrochemical process increases the surface area of graphene-based materials for charge storage, as well as the number of pseudo-capacitive sites that contribute additional storage capacity,” said Fang Qian, an LLNL material scientist and fellow co-author on the paper.

Because of the relatively small ion-accessible surface area of the aerogel, which is caused by the aggregation and stacking of graphene sheets, its capacitance is limited. Thanks to the new research, however, that capacitance can now be increased. “This study presents a facile method to boost the capacitive performance of 3D printed graphene aerogel by exfoliating the stacked graphene layers and functionalizing their surface, without damaging structural integrity,” explained Yat Li, a UCSC professor and corresponding author.

By improving the performance of the 3D printed supercapacitors, the scientists believe that the devices could realistically be used in future custom-built electronics which require supercapacitors with unusual shapes. With 3D printing adding an unprecedented level of customization to consumer electronics, Zhu sees no reason why customers couldn’t someday be designing their own iPhone. Those customized electronic devices would then require customized supercapacitors to fit their particular shape and form, with the researchers’ 3D printed graphene aerogel devices seemingly fitting the bill perfectly.

The researcher’s findings have been published in the June edition of ChemNanoMat.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



Maybe you also like:


Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to

3ders.org Feeds 3ders.org twitter 3ders.org facebook   

About 3Ders.org

3Ders.org provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive