Hybrid supercapacitor-battery materials for fast electrochemical charge storage
High energy and high power electrochemical energy storage devices rely on different fundamental working principles - bulk vs. surface ion diffusion and electron conduction. Meeting both characteristics within a single or a pair of materials has been under intense investigations yet, severely hindered by intrinsic materials limitations. Here, we provide a solution to this issue and present an approach to design high energy and high power battery electrodes by hybridizing a nitroxide-polymer redox supercapacitor (PTMA) with a Li-ion battery material (LiFePO4). The PTMA constituent dominates the hybrid battery charge process and postpones the LiFePO4 voltage rise by virtue of its ultra-fast electrochemical response and higher working potential. We detail on a unique sequential charging mechanism in the hybrid electrode: PTMA undergoes oxidation to form high-potential redox species, which subsequently relax and charge the LiFePO4 by an internal charge transfer process. A rate capability equivalent to full battery recharge in less than 5 minutes is demonstrated. As a result of hybrid?s components synergy, enhanced power and energy density as well as superior cycling stability are obtained, otherwise difficult to achieve from separate constituents.