The team has formulated the gel-like electrolyte to make flexible energy-storage devices for potential applications including wearable electronics. Flexible carbon nanotubes and regular office paper were used as electrode materials and supporting substrates, respectively, which allow the entire supercapacitor to bend.

Wide voltage window

The performance of the device is comparable to that of supercapacitors with ionic liquid electrolytes, and the gel-like material ensures that the supercapacitors are flexible and free from leakage and integrity issues, which can affect liquid-based designs. Also, the novel electrolytes are stable over 3 V, which is a voltage window three times wider than that of conventional H2SO4-based polymer gel electrolytes. This leads to an order of magnitude improvement in energy density because storable energy increases with the square of the operation voltage.

Additional information can be found in the journal Nanotechnology.