Self-discharge and leakage current mitigation of neutral aqueous-based supercapacitor by means of liquid crystal additive
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2020
Self-discharge is being recognized as one of the main obstacles to implementing the supercapacitor (SC) in standalone self-powered systems. Strategies for addressing this issue include the modification of electrodes, electrolytes, separators, and diverse device configurations. However, an improved self-discharge behavior is often achieved with a large compromise on other prominent figures of merit such as capacitance, energy density, or cycle life of the device. In this work, a thorough comparative electrochemical investigation of SCs containing a neutral aqueous electrolyte, 1 M Li2SO4, and with a liquid crystal (LC) additive, 2% 4-n-pentyl-4′-cyanobiphenyl (5CB) in 1 M Li2SO4, has been carried out at different states of charge. The results demonstrate that the device containing the LC additive 5CB exhibits a reduced self-discharge and leakage current without compromising the capacitive performance at different nominal voltages compared to the behavior of the device without 5CB. We suggest an explanation of the difference of the self-discharge behavior between the devices through tunability of the effective conductivity of the electrolyte composite upon applied voltages. As a result, in an open circuit condition, the device containing LC shows a slower diffusion of ions that facilitates a decreased self-discharge and leakage current.