Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Materials Science and Engineering
W. Kinzy Jones
Norman D.H. Munroe
Supercapacitors, Carbon-microelectromechanical systems, Graphene, Micro-supercapacitor, electrochemical activation
Date of Defense
Due to the increasing demand for high power and reliable miniaturized energy storage devices, the development of micro-supercapacitors or electrochemical micro-capacitors have attracted much attention in recent years. This dissertation investigates several strategies to develop on-chip micro-supercapacitors with high power and energy density.
Micro-supercapacitors based on interdigitated carbon micro-electrode arrays are fabricated through carbon microelectromechanical systems (C-MEMS) technique which is based on carbonization of patterned photoresist. To improve the capacitive behavior, electrochemical activation is performed on carbon micro-electrode arrays. The developed micro-supercapacitors show specific capacitances as high as 75 mFcm-2 at a scan rate of 5 mVs-1 after electrochemical activation for 30 minutes. The capacitance loss is less than 13% after 1000 cyclic voltammetry (CV) cycles. These results indicate that electrochemically activated C-MEMS micro-electrode arrays are promising candidates for on-chip electrochemical micro-capacitor applications.
The energy density of micro-supercapacitors was further improved by conformal coating of polypyrrole (PPy) on C-MEMS structures. In these types of micro-devices the three dimensional (3D) carbon microstructures serve as current collectors for high energy density PPy electrodes. The electrochemical characterizations of these micro-supercapacitors show that they can deliver a specific capacitance of about 162.07 mFcm-2 and a specific power of 1.62mWcm-2 at a 20 mVs-1 scan rate.
Addressing the need for high power micro-supercapacitors, the application of graphene as electrode materials for micro-supercapacitor was also investigated. The present study suggests a novel method to fabricate graphene-based micro-supercapacitors with thin film or in-plane interdigital electrodes. The fabricated micro-supercapacitors show exceptional frequency response and power handling performance and could effectively charge and discharge at rates as high as 50 Vs-1. CV measurements show that the specific capacitance of the micro-supercapacitor based on reduced graphene oxide and carbon nanotube composites is 6.1 mFcm-2 at scan rate of 0.01Vs-1. At a very high scan rate of 50 Vs-1, a specific capacitance of 2.8 mFcm-2 (stack capacitance of 3.1 Fcm-3) is recorded. This unprecedented performance can potentially broaden the future applications of micro-supercapacitors.
Beidaghi, Majid, "Design, Fabrication, and Evaluation of On-chip Micro-supercapacitors" (2012). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 660.