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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Wearable woven supercapacitor fabrics with high energy density and load-bearing capability.

  • Author(s): Shen, Caiwei
  • Xie, Yingxi
  • Zhu, Bingquan
  • Sanghadasa, Mohan
  • Tang, Yong
  • LIN, Liwei
  • et al.

Flexible power sources with load bearing capability are attractive for modern wearable electronics. Here, free-standing supercapacitor fabrics that can store high electrical energy and sustain large mechanical loads are directly woven to be compatible with flexible systems. The prototype with reduced package weight/volume provides an impressive energy density of 2.58 mWh g-1 or 3.6 mWh cm-3, high tensile strength of over 1000 MPa, and bearable pressure of over 100 MPa. The nanoporous thread electrodes are prepared by the activation of commercial carbon fibers to have three-orders of magnitude increase in the specific surface area and 86% retention of the original strength. The novel device configuration woven by solid electrolyte-coated threads shows excellent flexibility and stability during repeated mechanical bending tests. A supercapacitor watchstrap is used to power a liquid crystal display as an example of load-bearing power sources with various form-factor designs for wearable electronics.

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