Stretchable Supercapacitors Powering Wearable Electronics

Because of its higher power density than batteries and higher energy density than traditional dielectric capacitors, supercapacitors have developed well in various energy storage devices and have broader prospects. In the past, it was inconvenient for users to wear rigid electronic devices because these electronic devices were produced by simply attaching to clothing or connecting with conductive fibers, and the hard exterior of electronic devices would rub against human skin and cause discomfort to the human body. To solve this problem, people are working to develop more flexible electronic devices without losing performance.

Changyong Cao, a professor of mechanical engineering, electrical and computer engineering at Michigan State University, and Jeff Glass, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke University, formed a research team to jointly develop a new type of supercapacitor that is elastic and stretchable. Eight times its original size, its performance is intact, it will not wear out due to repeated stretching, and it only loses a few percent of capacitance after 10,000 charge-discharge cycles. Based on the performance of supercapacitors, it is suitable for wearable electronic devices or biomedicine equipment, etc.



They used stretchable carbon nanotube forests as electrodes and polyvinyl alcohol-potassium chloride as electrolytes to make stretchable supercapacitors. Jeff Glass, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke University, and his research team formed forests of carbon nanotubes (millions of nanotubes) on silicon wafers. The carbon nanotube forest is topped with a thin film of acrylic elastomer, which acts like an electron collector and allows the device to better charge and discharge quickly.

Professor Changyong Cao of Michigan State University transferred the carbon nanotube forest to a pre-stretched elastomer substrate, with the coating facing down, and shrunk it to a quarter of its original size in order to obtain a stretchable supercapacitors of smaller volume with the same capacitance.

This stretchable supercapacitor has the advantages of large deformation, stable performance, and improved specific capacitance and specific energy, and has important application value in the fields of wearable devices, electronic skin, and bio-integrated electronic devices.


elastic supercapacitor



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Post time: Jul-20-2022