Wearable electronic devices have emerged which require compact, flexible power storage devices such as batteries and supercapacitors. Recently, energy storage devices have been developed based on supercapacitor threads. However, current supercapacitor energy storage threads which use electrolytes based on aqueous gels have a 1 V potential window. This is much lower than the voltage required by most electronic devices. This current contribution presents an approach for fabricating a multilayer supercapacitor working as a circuit unit, in which series combinations of the multiple layer structures can achieve a higher potential window, which can better meet the needs of wearable electronic devices.
Two-capacitive layer thread supercapacitors were fabricated using a semi-automatic dip coating method by coating two capacitive layers sequentially on a 50 μm stainless steel core wire, each capacitive layer includes ink, aqueous-based gel electrolyte and silver conductive paint layers.
Two capacitive layers of the single thread supercapacitor can work independently, or as combination circuits – parallel and series. Cyclic voltammograms showed that all flexible circuits have high electrochemical stability. For the case of series circuit configuration, with H3PO-polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) gel electrolyte, a working potential window of 2 V was achieved.
A flexible single thread supercapacitor of multilayer structure, with working voltage above 1 V in H3PO4-PVA gel electrolyte, has not been reported before. A semi-automatic dip coating setup used to process the thread supercapacitor has high potential for transfer to an industrial environment for mass production.
This work was funded by the European Commission’s FP7 programme.
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