The rapid development of the so-called the Internet of things (IoT) is accelerating the reduction in size and weight of electronic devices to be used in cyber-physical systems. This, in turn, drives an increasing demand for rechargeable high-performance energy storage devices that are small enough for microelectronic applications. Recently, supercapacitors have attracted tremendous attention as potential solutions due to their capability of providing high power on a small scale. Supercapacitors combine the advantages of standard batteries with those of capacitors: fast charge and discharge cycles, high power capability, long lifecycles, and operation in a broad range of temperatures.
The main objective of this pre-project is to create functional porous surfaces through the deposition of nanoparticles for their use in supercapacitor electrodes. The production technique to be used will be magnetron sputtering, a physical vapor deposition method that allows the preparation of nanoparticle thin films. The use of nanoparticle thin films will allow both making the dimensions of the supercapacitor smaller and increasing the porosity of the electrodes, which are the two key scientific challenges of this pre-project.
The company Ensol AS will produce the electrodes and will optimize their composition and nanostructure. For such purpose, EnSol will use the latest developments in devices fabrication and nanoparticle deposition in its advanced Nano-Physical Vapor Deposition (N-PVD) facility. The other main contributor to the pre-project is the Nanophysics group from the University of Bergen, which will carry out the nanoparticle characterization in its state-of-the-art microscopy laboratory.