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Supercapacitors as Advanced Energy Storage Devices
Volume 4, Issue 1

John Chmiola, Drexel University
Yury Gogotsi, Drexel University

Supercapacitors (also going by the labels ultracapacitors, or electrochemical double layer capacitors) are energy storage devices, akin to batteries, but with completely different energy storage mechanisms. They occupy a primary place among other energy storage technologies due to a number of desirable properties: they are fast charging, reliable, have a large number of recharge cycles (>100,000), are free of toxic metals, have wide operating temperatures, and most notably have the ability to deliver >10x more power than batteries and store more energy than traditional capacitors. Recently, industry has given them increased attention as viable energy solutions as their energy densities gain ground on batteries. Consumers have also increased attention as they are leaking into ever increasing markets—from vehicles, cell phones, and photocopiers to larger industrial drive systems. With novel materials coming out of labs and the intricacies of their energy storage mechanisms finally being elucidated, they may well find themselves positioned as the key energy storage technology of tomorrow.

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