Super Dielectric Material Based Capacitors: Punched Membrane/Gel
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Extensive testing showed, as predicted, that punched membranes, filled with a gel containing aqueous salt solutions, behave as superdielectric materials (SDM). Punched membrane superdielectrics employed herein consisted of a commercial cellulose based membrane material, Celgard 16 µ thick, a material frequently used as a separator material in supercapacitors, into which macroscopic holes (ca. 2.5 mm) were punched with a laser cutter, and the holes subsequently filled with a gel-like material composed of fumed silica, NaCl and water. The gross dielectric constants measured, generally > 10⁵, and the energy densities,> 40 J/cmᵌ during slow discharge, were in the range expected for superdielectric materials. The measured capacitance and energy density tracked the number of holes punched/area filled with the dielectric gel. Also, the observed power law decrease in all parameters including energy, power and capacitance, followed the same trends observed in other classes of SDM. Control studies included testing dielectrics composed of Celgard into which no holes were punched, but the SDM gel spread, also produced values consistent with the SDM model: no measurable capacitance using the standard protocol. Finally, the values measured suggest these materials rival the energy density of some common battery types at low discharge rates, and surpass the best commercial supercapacitors at low discharge rates.
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