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Title: Design and fabrication of supercapacitors using 3D printing
Author: Tanwilaisiri, Anan
ISNI:       0000 0004 7658 6095
Awarding Body: Brunel University London
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2018
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Supercapacitors, also known as electrochemical capacitors, have shown great potential as energy storage devices; and 3D printing likewise as a manufacturing technique. This research progressively investigates combining these two technologies to fabricate 3D-printed, electrochemical double-layer capacitors (EDLCs). Small EDLCs were designed in a sandwich structure with an FDM-printed plastic frame and carbon electrodes. Inkjet printing was initially combined with FDM printing to produce a pilot sample with a silver ink current collector, however this performed poorly (Cs = 6 mF/g). Henceforth a paste extrusion system was added to the FDM printer to deposit the current collectors and electrodes, fabricating the entire device in a single continuous process. This process was progressively developed and tested, ultimately attaining specific capacitances of 200 mF/g. The fully integrated 3D printing process used to manufacture the EDLCs was a novel approach. Combining the FDM printer with a paste extruder allowed for a high degree of dimensional accuracy, as well as simplifying the production process. This aspect of the design functioned successfully, without significant faults, and proved a reliable fabrication method. The later designs used in this study provided the EDLCs extendable by incorporating connection jacks. This was to create the possibility to increase capacitance simply by connecting multiple EDLCs together. Tests of this feature showed that it worked well, with the extendable EDLCs delivering outputs very close to the theoretical maximum efficiency of the unit. Carbon conductive paint was applied as a current collector and electrode for the 3D printed EDLCs in an exploration of metal-free 3D printed supercapacitors. These metal-free EDLCs were found to provide around 60% of the specific capacitance of the best performing EDLC variant produced (silver paint current collectors with activated carbon and carbon paint mixture electrodes). Although considerable improvement is required to produce EDLC samples with comparable capacitances to existing commercial manufacturing techniques, this study lays important groundwork in this area, and has introduces effective and innovative design ideas for supercapacitors and integrated 3D printing processes.
Supervisor: Xu, Y. ; Harrison, D. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Supercapacitors ; 3D printing ; Fused deposition modelling ; Paste extrusion system ; Energy storage device