The development of conducting polymer-based supercapacitors offers remarkable advantages, such as good ionic and electronic conductivity, ease of synthesis, low processing cost, and mechanical flexibility. 3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene (PEDOT) is a conducting polymer with robust chemical and environmental stability during storage and operation in an aqueous environment. Yet, improving its electrochemical capacitance and cycle life remains a challenge for high-performance supercapacitors exceeding the current state-of-the-art. The fabrication of PEDOT composites with carbon nanomaterials and metal oxides is the commonly used approach to enhance capacitance and stability. This work discusses a comparative study to fabricate highly stable PEDOT derivative electrodes with remarkable specific capacitance via a straightforward electrochemical polymerization technique. The hydroxymethyl PEDOT (PEDOTOH) doped with perchlorate in a dichloromethane (DCM) solvent (197 F g−1) exhibits superior performance compared to the polymer formed in an aqueous solution (124 F g−1). Furthermore, the electropolymerized PEDOTOH on flexible Au/Kapton substrates was assembled into a free-standing symmetrical supercapacitor in an agarose additive-free gel. The use of agarose gel electrolytes can offer easy handling, no leakage, moderate ionic conductivity, and flexibility for miniaturization and integration. The supercapacitor reached a specific capacitance of 36.96 F g−1 at a current density of 13.7 A g−1, an energy density of 14.96 Wh kg−1, and a power density of 22.2 kW kg−1 among the highest values reported for PEDOT-based supercapacitors. The self-standing supercapacitor achieves an industry-par capacitance retention of ∼98% after 10000 charge/discharge cycles at 10 A g−1. This study provides insights into the effect of solvents and electropolymerization modes on the polymer structure and its electrochemical properties toward high-performance supercapacitor devices.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)