Last updated: April 7, 2018

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CONTEXT

BatteriesElectrochemical capacitors are energy-storage devices that are ideally suited for rapid storage and release of energy. Compared with conventional capacitors, the specific energy density of these devices is several orders of magnitude higher. They also have a higher specific power density than most conventional batteries. Among the various types of electrochemical capacitors, electrochemical double layer capacitors (EDLCs) are very promising for use in high power electronic devices and electric vehicles . These systems are based on the adsorption of ions forming the double layer at the electrode/electrolyte interface where charges accumulated by the electrode are compensated by electrolyte ionic species of opposite charges. High surface area carbons are generally used as the capacitive material because of their low cost, excellent cycle life and high specific surface area due to their micro/mesoporous structure.
Supercapacitors are now invading many fields of nowadays life due to their high power capability coupled with fair energy density. They can be found in stationary devices (gravitational potential energy in harbor cranes and elevators, uninterrupted power supply UPS, etc) or in applications related to transportation. Several trains, tramways, buses, cars, are powered by supercapacitors coupled (or not) with batteries or many other energy storage or conversion devices (fuel cells, thermacalendering machinel engine, etc…). Supercapacitors have enabled the rise of many innovations in the field of transportation whose number is now increasing due to the attractive long term cycle life of supercapacitors. Garbage collecting trucks running on small range distances with many starts and stops are targeted by the use of supercapacitors for example. In Nice, a new innovative electrical bus has been launched at the Nice International airport. This bus is charged in 10 seconds at each station leading to an autonomy of 800 meters thanks to supercapacitor modules. Extra batteries are installed on board for 30 km range extension in case of emergency or to drive toward the parking station.
However, one of the major requirements for such applications (Start & Stop systems in cars, load leveling devices in tramways, etc…) is that supercapacitors have to fit a restricted volume inside the vehicles. Only in aircraft and space industries are the requirements based on gravimetric energy density. In other applications, the volumetric energy density is more critical. Indeed, ground transportation aims at decreasing the volume related to auxiliary equipment (engine, cooling, storage, etc…) to leave more space available for carrying people, goods, merchandises, etc… The same requirement applies for stationary devices in which the volume of the energy storage device is limited (UPS for example) but which require the maximum energy in such a given volume.

The main drawback of commercial supercapacitors is that the use of very low density activated carbons (less than 1 g/cm3) as electrode materials prevents the fabrication of high volumetric energy devices. This low density is an intrinsic characteristic of activated carbons that are designed with a high surface area, i.e. a pore size distribution aiming at mesopores and micropores domination with a high cumulated pore volume. Furthermore, the only way to improve the volumetric energy density of carbon based devices is to use flammable organic based electrolytes (mostly acetonitrile) that enhance the cell voltage (up to 3.0V) at the cost of supercapacitor safety. As a matter of fact, commercial devices using activated carbon together with acetonitrile based electrolytes are those implemented in various applications listed above. winding machineNonetheless, while keeping the same components, it seems difficult to improve the volumetric energy density or to increase the safety of such devices. One way to achieve this goal is to increase the cell voltage (up to 3.5 or 4.0V) by the use of alternative organic solvents or ionic liquids (but at what cost in terms of power and safety?) . The second way is to use denser electrode materials, such as metal oxides, to replace carbon based electrodes . This is the research path that we will address within IVEDS project (Improving the Volumetric Energy Density of Supercapacitors): the design of oxide-based supercapacitors with enhanced energy density while keeping both high power density and long term cycling ability. This goal will be accompanied by a safety enhancement since these materials will be operated in aqueous-based electrolytes. Although, pseudocapacitive oxides have already been considered as electrode materials and tested as full devices in asymetric configurations when coupled with an EDLC carbon electrodes, this concept should move a step forward with the design, fabrication and benchmarking of innovative supercapacitors including two metal oxide based electrodes, with unprecedented high volumetric energy densities. This will lead to a major breakthrough in the field of supercapacitors.



OBJECTIVES

IVEDS project aims at the design of safe and high volumetric energy electrochemical capacitors and the concomitant benchmarking of various asymmetric devices. Our final goal is to increase by 50% the volumetric energy density of nowadays symmetrical carbon ECs, while keeping the power density close to that of state of the art devices.

Three key players in the field of supercapacitors (IMN, ICGM) and benchmarking of lithium-ion batteries (LRCS) are gathering together in this innovative project which will target a change of paradigm from carbons to oxides for large-scale applications of supercapacitors where volumetric energy density and safety are the moRS2Est important parameters. This consortium will take benefit from its belonging to the French Network on Energy Storage (RS2E - http://www.energie-rs2e.com/fr).

The project is expected to provide basic knowledge on the role of solid state chemistry on the electrochemical performance of oxides as supercapacitor electrodes. This fundamental research will be used to implement more applied research based on the preparation of nanocomposite electrodes that adequately combines the active material to a high electronically and ionically conductive architecture based on carbons. This will demonstrate how an attractive oxide can be turned into a performing electrode. Finally, the selection of chemistries and architecture/formulation will be done by the three partners in order to push the project from its fundamental side to a more applied field. Formulation of oxide based electrodes for casting current collectors and integration in industrial prototypes has been poorly investigated up to now. It will provide valuable data both for researchers who hardly feature how their new materials behave at a cell scale, and for potential users who might like to know what can be expected from oxide based electrodes in a real cell. This comes together with a strategy for dissemination of the results to different potential industrial partners, from materials manufacturers to end-users.

structure2Task #2 is dedicated  to the screening of different multi-cation oxides aiming at the choice of two major chemistries that can provide significant improvement compared to existing monoxides: higher capacitance, higher density, better long term cycling ability. Some additional time will be devoted to the optimization of attractive chemistries, in order to investigate doping alternatives to first or second selected chemistries.

Task #3 is dedicated to electrode architecture for oxide-based supercapacitors and to the formulation of the electrode materials which will be benchmarked in task #4. As electrode materials, most of the pseudocapacitive metal oxides show limited electronic conductivity, either intrinsically or as dispersed nano-powders. On the other hand, the architecture of the electrode also impacts on the ion diffusion and transport through the material. Task #3 will address both limitations by developing specific electrode formulations for the oxides prepared in task #2.

Task #4 is dedicated to the design of prototype cells. In 2014, LRCS acquired pre-transfer equipments for the fabrication of “industrial” batteries and supercapacitors including a coater, a calendering machine and a cell winder together with a tab welding machine and all the facilities to prepare large quantities of slurries. All these equipments can be easily used for Li-ion or supercapacitor cells.

IMN

Institut des Matériaux (UMR CNRS-Université de Nantes 6502) was created in 1988 by the renowned French chemist Jean Rouxel. Drawing together chemists, physicists and materials engineers from the CNRS and the University of Nantes, with over 150 researchers and support staff it now represents one of the largest materials research centres in France. Research projects are diverse, including collaborations with industry, and other national and international research organisations.
At IMN a fundamental understanding of materials science and their properties, from the atomic scale upwards, is developed. This allows the design, characterization and optimization of new materials for a wide range of deeptechs, including next generation solar cells, fuel cells, electric car batteries & supercapacitors, nanotechnology, smart materials, materials for microelectronics, photonic and optical materials.
The Institute draws its strength from a convergence of skills, gathered in five research teams:
- Physics of materials and nanostructures (PMN)
- Plasma processes and thin films (PCM)
- Electrochemical storage and conversion of energy (ST2E)
- Innovative materials for optics, photovoltaic and storage (MIOPS)
- Material engineering and metallurgy (ID2M)

Logo AIMEThe team "Aggregates, Interfaces and Materials for Energy" (AIME) associates competence in innovative synthesis routes to hierarchical materials with tailored architecture and in surface reactivity and the chemistry of interfaces, with complementary theoretical and experimental approaches applied to energy storage and conversion and environmental remediation processes.
The perspectives of the research are two-fold: elaboration of original materials enabling emerging energy technologies and the study of the interfacial properties and mechanisms governing exchange of energy and matter at interfaces.

LRCSThe general direction of the Laboratoire de Réactivité et Chimie des Solides is to study the materials from their development to their industrial application, via a thorough characterization. Special expertise of the laboratory concerns materials for electrochemical and electrochromic systems. The coupling of expertise in synthetic chemistry and electrochemistry can offer new solutions to improve different types of batteries (alkaline, lithium and lead). The LRCS is a team of researchers dedicated to the study of the structure/properties of materials, especially in the field of electrochemistry.
To establish such correlations, the team has many characterization equipments (X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy and spectroscopy) that can accurately characterize the materials in general with special expertise in solids in their powder form. The LRCS has a long experience in the field of technical development of materials in aqueous and organic media (green chemistry). A method of preparing metal powders by treatment in an organic phase of polyol has been developed, notably in collaboration with Paris VII. Pure metals or alloys having controlled sizes and shapes of crystal  can be tailor-made by modulating the parameters for the synthesis (type of polyol, temperature, additives). Finally we are very committed to enhance teamwork, which results in sharing our units at national and European levels with the creation, in 2000, of a CNRS prototype unit and in 2004, Alistore Network of Excellence bringing together 17 countries that we coordinate.

RS2EOn July 2nd, 2010 the Ministry of Higher Education and Research created the first National network for Research and Technology on the Electrochemical Storage of Energy.  This network combines research of excellence and innovation through the CNRS with experimental and performing technological centers (CEA, IFP, and INERIS); both of them in close relation with the industrials. RS2E is an integrated research structure composed of various additional organizations:  developing research (academic players), prototyping (institutions for finalized scientific and technological research) and pre-industrialization (creation of a French industrials club) which visionary scientific program tries to solve today’s problems of energy supply while handling and anticipating tomorrow’s needs.

    • 6th International Conference on Advanced Capacitors, 8-12 September 2019, Ueda, Japan - www.icac2019.org

      The ICAC2019 provides an exciting forum to discuss recent progress in advanced capacitors. The conference focusses on the following themes;
      1. Basic science, advanced technologies and application of all types of capacitors, i.e., ceramic, film, aluminum electrolytic, tantalum, electric double-layer, electrochemical redox (pseudo), asymmetric, hybrid, lithium-ion capacitors, etc.
      2. Capacitor performances for power uses such as electric vehicles and energy back-up (storage) application.
      3. Materials for advanced capacitors (e.g., carbonaceous materials, polymers, metal oxides, composites), and new concept for fabricating high performance energy and power storage devices.
      More information: PDF

    • ISEECap 2019, 6-10 May 2019, Nantes, France - iseecap-2019.sciencesconf.org

      headerISEECAP 33

      The International Symposium on Enhanced Electrochemical Capacitors, ISEECap 2019 will celebrate the ten-year anniversary of the symposium series in the beautiful city of Nantes (France), where the first event was held back in June 2009. This first edition with 110 participants triggered a series of 4 unforgettable meetings in Poznan (2011), Taormina (2013), Montpellier (2015) and Jena (2017), with nearly 200 attendees for this last meeting.
      We hope that you will make this 6th edition of ISEECap a great success. Our goal is to gather in Nantes (France) from 6-10 May 2019, the most renowned international experts together with students and non-specialist engineers and researchers who share interest in electrochemical capacitors. A broad range of topics will be covered, including:
      - Electrochemical Double Layer Capacitors, carbon electrodes and mechanisms
      - Pseudocapacitive materials and related mechanisms
      - Electrolytes and interfaces
      - Characterization techniques, in-situ and operando methods
      - Modelling of phenomena and systems
      - New concepts, new devices and new fabrication processes in supercapacitors
      - Microsupercapacitors and related components
      - Fast charging battery electrodes for asymmetric and hybrid devices
      - Devices and/or systems integration and applications

      The symposium will consist in 5 days of plenary and keynote lectures, oral and poster presentations, starting on Monday 6 May at 1pm and ending on Friday 10 May at noon. The program is definitively "looking forward" oriented and it will also include a specific "Young investigators" session.

    • Thesis defense, Pierre Lannelongue - November 21st 2018 - University of Montpellier, France
  pierre   

Pierre Lannelongue, PhD candidate under the joint supervision of Thierry Brousse (IMN) and Frédéric Favier (ICGM), has defended his PhD at the University of Montpellier, France, on November 21st 2018. Thanks to his work on "Polycationic oxides for supercapacitors with high volumetric energy density" developed in the framework of the IVEDS project, he was awarded with the Doctorate degree of the University of Montpellier. Congrats Pierre!

  • IVEDS group meeting, 11 September 2018, Amiens, France

    The last meeting of IVEDS consortium took in Amiens during the Graduation of Master MESC students (Materials for Energy Storage & Conversion), September 11, 2018. This was the opportunity for the partners to visit the new building (RS2E hub) hosting the prototyping facilities.