Sustainable graphene production for solution-processed microsupercapacitors and multipurpose flexible electronics

Friday, 24 May, 2024

The work, published on the prestigious journal Nano Energy (elsevier), is in collaboration with the Iberian Institute of Nanotechnology, and the goal is to develop sustainable and inexpensive graphene devices and thus potentially applicable to high-throughput industrial manufacturing.

Graphene flakes were used as primary materials in the development of a nanocarbon-based, viscous, composite paste with high electrical conductivity. The paste was designed to strongly adhere to plastic and flexible substrates when deposited by solution processing techniques, such as bar coating.

Proof-of-concept microsupercapacitors fabricated with graphene paste attained a Coulombic efficiency close to 100%, an areal capacitance of 6.16 mF cm-2, a volumetric capacitance of 2.46 F cm-3, and a maximum energy density of 209 μWh cm-3.

The devices also showed an excellent capacitance retention of 91.5% after 10000 GCD cycles. When subjected to bending tests, the microsupercapacitors retained their unaltered performance due to the high percolation and mechanical flexibility of the graphene composite paste, which remains easily accessible to the electrolyte.

The microsupercapacitors were also assembled in series and parallel configurations to demonstrate their adjustable voltage and capacitance outputs

Electromagnetic interference shielding coatings and textile strain sensors were also fabricated to further prove the multipurpose nature of the composite paste.

The textile strain sensor exhibited a high gauge factor and reliability. Overall, the work results provide a pathway for minimizing the environmental impact associated with the production of widespread technologies such as microsupercapacitors, which often require harmful chemicals and contain non-biodegradable components.


Ernesto Placidi


L' Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza" - Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Roma