A new carbon material, nitrogen-enriched graphene, which is proving very promising for use in supercapacitor electrodes for storing electrical energy, has been developed by CATRIN scientists. The material, alongside the way it is prepared and its application, is already protected by the European patent.

“We have created and refined the material synthesis so that the resulting material is high in nitrogen, very low or zero in fluorine, and is of high purity. This makes it particularly useful for storing energy in supercapacitors, where it achieves very promising results,” said one of the patent’s co-authors, Veronika Šedajová.

The research was carried out by scientists as part of an ERC grant that is currently aimed at preparing new graphene derivatives. “Nitrogen-doped graphene prepared using fluorografene chemistry has a balanced combination of parameters that allows its use as an electrode material for supercapacitors. It has a high density which, combined with a large ability to absorb ions from the electrolyte, leads to a very high energy density—higher than that of any other carbon or graphene-based supercapacitor materials described so far. The highest volume energy density is almost 170 Wh/L and the volume power density is up to 50 kW/L,” said Michal Otyepka, who is the investigator of two European Research Council grants.

The new material can be prepared from graphite fluoride, an industrial lubricant available on the market in tonnes, which increases its potential availability. The next step in the development will be to build prototype supercapacitors in cooperation with international partners.