Research ArticleNANOTECHNOLOGY

Dielectric capacitors with three-dimensional nanoscale interdigital electrodes for energy storage

Science Advances  23 Oct 2015:
Vol. 1, no. 9, e1500605
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1500605

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Abstract

Dielectric capacitors are promising candidates for high-performance energy storage systems due to their high power density and increasing energy density. However, the traditional approach strategies to enhance the performance of dielectric capacitors cannot simultaneously achieve large capacitance and high breakdown voltage. We demonstrate that such limitations can be overcome by using a completely new three-dimensional (3D) nanoarchitectural electrode design. First, we fabricate a unique nanoporous anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) membrane with two sets of interdigitated and isolated straight nanopores opening toward opposite planar surfaces. By depositing carbon nanotubes in both sets of pores inside the AAO membrane, the new dielectric capacitor with 3D nanoscale interdigital electrodes is simply realized. In our new capacitors, the large specific surface area of AAO can provide large capacitance, whereas uniform pore walls and hemispheric barrier layers can enhance breakdown voltage. As a result, a high energy density of 2 Wh/kg, which is close to the value of a supercapacitor, can be achieved, showing promising potential in high-density electrical energy storage for various applications.

Keywords
  • dielectric capacitor
  • energy storage
  • Energy density
  • anodic aluminum oxide (AAO)

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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