T. Schoetz, M.Kurniawan, M.Stich, R.Peipmann, I.Efimov, A.Ipsas, A.Bund, C.Ponce de Leon, M.Ueda
05/09/2018
Understanding the charge storage mechanism of conductive polymers as hybrid battery-capacitor material in ionic liquids by n-situ atomic force microscopy and electrochemical quartz crystal microbalance

Safe and sustainable energy storage systems with the ability to perform efficiently during large numbers of charge/discharge cycles with minimum degradation define the main objective of near future energy storage technologies. Closing the gap between high power and energy per unit weight requires new materials that can act as a battery and capacitor at the same time. Conductive polymers have attracted attention as hybrid battery-capacitor materials. However, their potential impact has not been fully investigated because their behaviour, especially in non-aqueous electrolytes such as ionic liquids, is not completely understood. Here, we aim to clarify the fundamental functionality of these hybrid characteristics while studying the interaction between a conductive polymer and an ionic liquid by in situ atomic force microscopy and electrochemical quartz crystal microbalance. The main achievement is the visualisation of the morphological modifications of the conductive polymer depending on the state of charge. These modifications significantly influence the viscoelastic material properties of the polymer. Our combined findings provide a model which explains why conductive polymers behave like (pseudo)-capacitors at a high state of charge and as batteries at a low state of charge. This understanding enables applicationorientated synthesis of conductive polymers and their use as high-performance energy storage materials.

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