Crucial to electrical energy storage is the understanding of their complex systems that change as the system is charged and discharged. Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have advanced information in the field of graphitic electrodes, identifying how changes in their structure and bonding affect the way energy is stored.
Previously, the danger associated with the environments within many energy storage systems hindered our ability to understand these processes at work. Now, the LLNL researchers have developed an X-ray adsorption spectroscopy method to investigate the electrolyte-electrode interface in a graphitic carbon supercapacitor while charging.
This graphene-based supercapacitor is ideal to study interfacial phenomena as it is chemically stable and well established both experimentally and theoretically.
A deeper understanding of these changes could result in an increase in the capacity and efficiency of electrochemical energy storage systems. This is because the research allows graphitic supercapacitor electrodes to be tailored by charge-induced electrode-electrolyte interactions. Also, modelling techniques developed during the research can be readily applied to other storage materials and technologies.
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