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Title: Charging Graphene for Energy Storage

Since 2004, graphene, including single atomic layer graphite sheet, and chemically derived graphene sheets, has captured the imagination of researchers for energy storage because of the extremely high surface area (2630 m2/g) compared to traditional activated carbon (typically below 1500 m2/g), excellent electrical conductivity, high mechanical strength, and potential for low cost manufacturing. These properties are very desirable for achieving high activity, high capacity and energy density, and fast charge and discharge. Chemically derived graphene sheets are prepared by oxidation and reduction of graphite1 and are more suitable for energy storage because they can be made in large quantities. They still contain multiply stacked graphene sheets, structural defects such as vacancies, and oxygen containing functional groups. In the literature they are also called reduced graphene oxide, or functionalized graphene sheets, but in this article they are all referred to as graphene for easy of discussion. Two important applications, batteries and electrochemical capacitors, have been widely investigated. In a battery material, the redox reaction occurs at a constant potential (voltage) and the energy is stored in the bulk. Therefore, the energy density is high (more than 100 Wh/kg), but it is difficult to rapidly charge or discharge (low power, less thanmore » 1 kW/kg)2. In an electrochemical capacitor (also called supercapacitors or ultracapacitor in the literature), the energy is stored as absorbed ionic species at the interface between the high surface area carbon and the electrolyte, and the potential is a continuous function of the state-of-charge. The charge and discharge can happen rapidly (high power, up to 10 kW/kg) but the energy density is low, less than 10 Wh/kg2. A device that can have both high energy and high power would be ideal.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Nature Nanotechnology, 9(10):739-741
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
graphene; energy storage; energy density