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Rapid Potential Step Charging of Paper-based Polypyrrole Energy Storage Devices
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Nanotechnology and Functional Materials.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Nanotechnology and Functional Materials. (Nanoteknologi och funktionella material)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Nanotechnology and Functional Materials.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Chemistry, Department of Chemistry - Ångström, Inorganic Chemistry.
2012 (English)In: Electrochimica Acta, ISSN 0013-4686, E-ISSN 1873-3859, Vol. 70, 91-97 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Symmetric paper-based supercapacitor devices containing polypyrrole (PPy)-cellulose composite electrodes and aqueous electrolytes can be charged using either potential step or constant current charging. Potential step charging provides better control of the charging and can result in significantly shorter charging times, enabling charging in 22s for devices with cell capacitances of 12.2F when charged to 0.8 V. The paper-based electrode material was compatible with charging currents as large as 5.9 A g(-1) due to the rapid counter ion mass transport resulting from the porous composite structure and the thin PPy coatings. The charging times were controlled by the RC time constants of the devices and the cell resistance was found to decrease with increasing electrode area. For small cells, the cell resistance was determined to a large extent by the electrolyte resistance and contact resistances, whereas the resistance of the current collectors dominated for larger cells. The specific cell capacitance was 38.3 F g(-1) or 2.1 F cm(-2), normalized with respect to the total electrode weight and electrode cross section area respectively, and the devices showed 80-90% capacitance retention after 10 000 potential step charge and discharge cycles. These results, which demonstrate that potential step charging can be advantageous for conducting polymer based energy storage devices, are very encouraging for the development of new up-scalable paper-based energy storage devices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 70, 91-97 p.
Keyword [en]
Conducting polymer, Polypyrrole, Cellulose, Potential step charging, Supercapacitor
National Category
Natural Sciences Nano Technology
Research subject
Engineering Science with specialization in Nanotechnology and Functional Materials
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-168663DOI: 10.1016/j.electacta.2012.03.060ISI: 000304497000012OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-168663DiVA: diva2:502009
Available from: 2012-02-14 Created: 2012-02-14 Last updated: 2016-04-21Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Nanocellulose and Polypyrrole Composites for Electrical Energy Storage
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Nanocellulose and Polypyrrole Composites for Electrical Energy Storage
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

To meet the predicted increase in demand for energy storage in tomorrow's society, the development of inexpensive, flexible, lightweight and sustainable energy-storage materials is essential. In this respect, devices based on electroactive organic molecules, such as conducting polymers, are highly interesting. The aim of this thesis was to evaluate the use of nanocellulose as a matrix material in composites of cellulose and the electroactive polymer polypyrrole (PPy), and the use of these composites in all-polymer paper-based energy-storage devices.  

Pyrrole was polymerized using FeCl3 onto cellulose nanofibers in the form of a hydrogel. The resulting PPy-coated fibers were washed with water and dried into a high surface area, conductive paper material. Variations in the drying technique provided a way of controlling the porosity and the surface area of wood-based cellulose nanofibers, as the properties of the cellulose were found to have a large influence on the composite structure. Different nanocellulose fibers, of algal and wood origin, were evaluated as the reinforcing phase in the conductive composites. These materials had conductivities of 1–6 S/cm and specific surface areas of up to 246 m2/g at PPy weight fractions around 67%.  

Symmetrical supercapacitor devices with algae-based nanocellulose-PPy electrodes and an aqueous electrolyte showed specific charge capacities of around 15 mAh/g and specific capacitances of around 35 F/g, normalized with respect to the dry electrode weight. Potentiostatic charging of the devices was suggested as a way to make use of the rapid oxidation and reduction processes in these materials, thus minimizing the charging time and the effect of the IR drop in the device, and ensuring charging to the right potential. Repeated charging and discharging of the devices revealed a 10–20% loss in capacity over 10 000 cycles. Upon up-scaling of the devices, it was found that an improved cell design giving a lower cell resistance was needed in order to maintain high charge and discharge rates.  

The main advantages of the presented concept of nanocellulose-PPy-based electrical energy storage include the eco-friendly raw materials, an up-scalable and potentially cost-effective production process, safe operation, and the controllable porosity and moldability offered by the nanocellulose fiber matrix. Integrating energy storage devices into paper could lead to un- precedented opportunities for new types of consumer electronics. Future research efforts should be directed at increasing the energy density and improving the stability of this type of device as well as advancing the fundamental understanding of the current limitations of these properties.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2012. 71 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 898
conducting polymer, polypyrrole, cellulose, nanocellulose, porosity, composite, energy storage, battery, supercapacitor
National Category
Physical Sciences
Research subject
Engineering Science with specialization in Materials Science
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-168664 (URN)978-91-554-8276-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-03-30, Häggsalen, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 09:30 (English)
Available from: 2012-03-09 Created: 2012-02-14 Last updated: 2012-03-29Bibliographically approved

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