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Electric double-layer capacitor

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Electric double-layer capacitor

Maxwell Technologies product series supercapacitors

Electric double-layer capacitors (EDLC) are electrochemical capacitors which energy storage predominant is achieved by Double-layer capacitance. In the past all electrochemical capacitors were called "double-layer capacitors". However, since some years it is known that double-layer capacitors together with pseudocapacitors are part of a new family of electrochemical capacitors[1] called supercapacitors, also known as ultracapacitors. Supercapacitors do not have a conventional solid dielectric. The capacitance value of a supercapacitor is determined by two storage principles:

Double-layer capacitance and pseudocapacitance both contribute inseparable to the total capacitance value of a supercapacitor.[3] However, the ratio of the two can vary greatly, depending on the design of the electrodes and the composition of the electrolyte. Pseudocapacitance can increase the capacitance value by as much as an order of magnitude over that of the double-layer by itself.[1]

Hierarchical classification of supercapacitors and related types

Supercapacitors are divided into three family members, based on the design of the electrodes:

  • Double-layer capacitors – with carbon electrodes or derivatives with much higher static double-layer capacitance than the faradaic pseudocapacitance
  • Pseudocapacitors – with electrodes made of metal oxides or conducting polymers with much higher faradaic pseudocapacitance than the static double-layer capacitance
  • Hybrid capacitors – capacitors with special electrodes that exhibit both significant double-layer capacitance and pseudocapacitance, such as lithium-ion capacitors

However, because double-layer capacitance and pseudocapacitance both contribute inseparable to the total capacitance value of an electrochemical capacitor, a correct description of these capacitors only can be given under the generic term, see Supercapacitor.

See also


  1. ^ a b B. E. Conway (1999) (in German), Electrochemical Supercapacitors: Scientific Fundamentals and Technological Applications, Berlin: Springer, pp. 1–8,   See also Electrochemical Capacitors — Their Nature, Function and ApplicationsBrian E. Conway in Electrochemistry Encyclopedia:
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ Elzbieta Frackowiak, Francois Beguin, PERGAMON, Carbon 39 (2001) 937–950, Carbon materials for the electrochemical storage of energy in Capacitors PDF

External links

  • Super Capacitor Seminar
  • Article on ultracapacitors at
  • A new version of an old idea is threatening the battery industry (The Economist).
  • An Encyclopedia Article From the Yeager center at CWRU.
  • Ultracapacitors & Supercapacitors Forum
  • Special Issue of Interface magazine on electrochemical capacitors
  • Nanoflowers Improve Ultracapacitors: A novel design could boost energy storage (Technology Review) and Can nanoscopic meadows drive electric cars forward? (New Scientist)
  • If the cap fits... How supercapacitors can help to solve power problems in portable products.
  • A web that describes the development of solid-state and hybrid supercapacitors from CNR-ITAE (Messina) Italy
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