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Title: Capacitance enhancement via electrode patterning

The necessity of increasing the energy density in electric double layer capacitors to meet current demand is fueling fundamental and applied research alike. We report here molecular dynamics simulation results for aqueous electrolytes near model electrodes. Particular focus is on the effect of electrode patterning on the structure of interfacial electrolytes, and on the potential drop between the solid electrodes and the bulk electrolytes. The latter is estimated by numerically integrating the Poisson equation using the charge densities due to water and ions accumulated near the interface as input. We considered uniform and patterned electrodes, both positively and negatively charged. The uniformly charged electrodes are modeled as graphite. The patterned ones are obtained by removing carbon atoms from the top-most graphene layer, yielding nanoscopic squares and stripes patterns. For simplicity, the patterned electrodes are effectively simulated as insulators (the charge remains localized on the top-most layer of carbon atoms). Our simulations show that the patterns alter the structure of water and the accumulation of ions at the liquid-solid interfaces. Using aqueous NaCl solutions, we found that while the capacitance calculated for three positively charged electrodes did not change much, that calculated for the negatively charged electrodes significantly increased upon patterning.more » We find that both water structure and orientation, as well as ion accumulation affect the capacitance. As electrode patterning affects differently water structure and ion accumulation, it might be possible to observe ion-specific effects. These results could be useful for advancing our understanding of electric double layer capacitors, capacitive desalination processes, as well as of fundamental interfacial electrolytes properties.« less
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. School of Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma 73019 (United States)
  2. (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22251327
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics; Journal Volume: 139; Journal Issue: 20; Other Information: (c) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; BUILDUP; DESALINATION; ELECTRODES; ELECTROLYTES; ENERGY DENSITY; GRAPHENE; GRAPHITE; LIQUIDS; MOLECULAR DYNAMICS METHOD; POISSON EQUATION; SIMULATION; SOLIDS; WATER