Supercapacitors or “Supercaps” constitute a unique class of electrochemical energy storage devices. Constructed in a similar fashion as conventional batteries, supercapacitors comprise two electrodes with an electrolyte-soaked separator in between as main constituents. Upon charging, ions from the electrolyte adsorb reversibly onto the surface of the electrodes, creating an electrochemical double-layer in which charge is stored.
Due to the fact this charge-storage mechanism does not include diffusion in bulk material, but is governed by surface processes, ultrafast response times can be realized, leading to high rate capabilities of those devices. Since the capacity scales with the surface available, highly porous and well conducting electrode materials are of special interest in this regard. In particular, porous carbons and polymers with well-defined pore structures are being investigated, in order to increase both the specific energy and the specific power of supercapacitors. Additional charge can be stored by introducing redox-active sites into the active material. Here, faradaic reactions can take place which allow for an even further increased amount of energy to be stored.
Already today, Supercapacitors are being employed of a great variety of applications. Prime examples of their use are for instance brake energy recuperation systems in automobiles, electrical grid stabilization and load leveling, defibrillators or power supply for emergency actuators in airliners.
We focus mainly on the synthesis and integration of advanced porous electrode materials and composites in supercapacitors. However, our research also encompasses new types of electrolytes and separators, as well as the fine-tuning of the interplay of the individual components of those cells.
Dr. Lars Giebeler
M. Klose, R. Reinhold, K. Pinkert, M. Uhlemann, F. Wolke, J. Balach, T. Jaumann, U. Stoeck, J. Eckert, L. Giebeler: Hierarchically nanostructured hollow carbon nanospheres for ultrafast and long-life energy storage, Carbon 106 (2016), S. 306-313. URL
K. Pinkert, M. Oschatz, L. Borchardt, M. Klose, M. Zier, W. Nickel, L. Giebeler, S. Oswald, S. Kaskel, J. Eckert: Role of surface functional groups in ordered mesoporous carbide- derived carbon/ionic liquid electrolyte double-layer capacitor interfaces, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces 6 (2014), S. 2922-2928. URL
K. Pinkert, L. Giebeler, M. Herklotz, S. Oswald, J. Thomas, A. Meier, L. Borchardt, L. Kaskel, H. Ehrenberg, J. Eckert: Functionalised porous nanocomposites: Amultidisciplinary approach to investigate designed structures for supercapacitor applications, Journal of Materials Chemistry A 1 (2013), S. 4904-4910. URL