Stretchable energy storage device for flexible and stretchable electronics

Researchers have developed rechargeable and stretchable energy storage device, also known as supercapacitor, for the flexible and stretchable electronics.

This research has been done by the researchers from the University of Delaware and published online in the journal Nano Letters.

Image showing fully stretchable supercapacitor (Credit: University of Delaware)

“Advances in soft and stretchable substrates and elastomeric materials have given rise to an entirely new field,” Bingqing Wei, a mechanical engineering professor at UD, said in a statement.

“Rechargeable and stretchable energy storage devices, also known as supercapacitors, are urgently needed to complement advances currently being made in flexible electronics,” Wei added.

Wei and his collaborators have developed fully stretchable supercapacitor by utilizing “single-walled carbon nanotube macrofilms as the electrodes, an electrospun membrane of elastomeric polyurethane as the separator, and an organic electrolyte.”

Researchers have worked on this supercapacitor under different stretching/releasing modes, and stretching strain rates, and found that it works with excellent stability. Furthermore, “the self-discharge of the supercapacitor and the electrochemical behavior under bending mode are also examined. The stretchable supercapacitors show excellent cyclic stability under electrochemical charge/discharge during in situ dynamic stretching/releasing.”

The results will help to improve the design and technology of future energy storage devices, Wei said.

Reference:

Li, X., Gu, T., & Wei, B. (2012). Dynamic and Galvanic Stability of Stretchable Supercapacitors Nano Letters, 12 (12), 6366-6371 DOI: 10.1021/nl303631e