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IIT Guwahati develops hydrogels for high performance energy storage devices

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on August 24, 2021

The team developed hydrogel-based electrodes that could enhance the performance of an energy storage device

A group of researchers from Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati have developed hydrogel-based electrodes that could enhance the performance of an energy storage device.

The research group at Department of Physics, IIT Guwahati led by Dr. Uday Narayan Maiti, with Prof. Subhradip Ghosh and Dr. N Padma of Physics group, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai, under BRNS (Board of Research in Nuclear Science) project has developed a new soft hybrid material, known as hydrogel, to increase the energy storage performance of supercapacitor devices.

Hydrogel

A hydrogel is a porous framework of interconnected materials, in which water remains stably locked within the pores. As a building block of the hydrogel, they have chosen two different kinds of nanosheets, graphene and MXene, which stores charge via two different mechanisms.

Maiti said, “ The important aspect of this development lies in its extreme simplicity, scalability and mainly room temperature process which prevents the temperature sensitive MXene from changing its conducting property which ensures high device performance”

They have developed the hydrogel electrodes by simple room temperature process in which graphene and MXene spontaneously assemble themselves over metal plates within a water medium. Graphene, a single atom thin carbon sheet, stores charge on its surface via physical adsorption, known as electrical double layer mechanism (ELDC). Whereas, MXene, nanosheets of titanium carbide, stores charge via both ELDC and chemical reaction on its surface, known as pseudo-capacitance.

Researchers at IIT Guwahati said that their supercapacitors based on MXene-graphene hydrogels can be repeatedly charged and discharged for over 10,000 times, with only minimal performance degradation.

They have achieved a highest power density of 1.13 kW per kg of electrode material which is almost twice the power offered by current Li-ion batteries.

The results of these breakthrough work in MXene based supercapacitor technologies were published in “Electrochimica Acta” and “Carbon” recently.

Published on August 24, 2021

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