We use colloidal gels of graphene oxide in awater-ethanol-ionic liquid solution to assemble graphene-ionic liquid laminated structures for use as electrodes in electrochemical double layer capacitors. Our process involves evaporation of water and ethanol yielding a graphene oxide/ionic liquid composite, followed by thermal reduction of the graphene oxide to electrically conducting functionalized graphene. This yields an electrode in which the ionic liquid serves not only as the working electrolyte but also as a spacer to separate the graphene sheets and to increase their electrolyte-accessible surface area. Using this approach, we achieve an outstanding energy density of 17.5 Wh/kg at a gravimetric capacitance of 156 F/g and 3 V operating voltage, due to a high effective density of the active electrode material of 0.46 g/cm2. By increasing the ionic liquid content and the degree of thermal reduction, we obtain electrodes that retain >90% of their capacitance at a scan rate of 500 mV/s, illustrating that we can tailor the electrodes toward higher power density if energy density is not the primary goal. The elimination of the electrolyte infiltration step from manufacturing makes this bottom-up assembly approach scalable and well-suited for combinations of potentially any graphene material with ionic liquid electrolytes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry