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Analysis 9.1.2017

Graphic illustrates composite cathode material.
© Dr. Sonia Dsoke

Super batterie combines high performance and capacity

In the project NovaCap scientists determine in a study new materials for the realization of a new concept for hybrid and asymmetric supercapacitors. The concept provides for battery electrode material with capacitor material in one cell unite. This will create a super battery that combine both: high performance and high capacity.

Project status Project completed
Project duration July 2012 until December 2016

Researchers working on the “New electrode design concepts for hybrid lithium-ion supercapacitors” project (NovaCap) are hoping to develop higher-performance key materials for asymmetrical hybrid supercapacitors with high power and energy density. The development and optimisation of composite electrodes consisting of lithium insertion materials and porous carbons is the essential and most important part of the project. The researchers plan to integrate a nano-structured lithium insertion material into a porous carbon structure in order to enhance the electrochemical performance in terms of greater energy density and shorter charge/discharge times. The objective is to develop a fully high-performance-capable asymmetrical hybrid supercapacitor, which at the anode and cathode is constructed from composite electrodes produced from carbon/lithium insertion materials.

  • Composite anode material © Dr. Sonia Dsoke
  • Hybrid asymmetrical composite cathode and anode © Dr. Sonia Dsoke
  • Graphic illustrates composite cathode material. © Dr. Sonia Dsoke

Work on the NovaCap project began with the development and optimisation of composite electrodes produced from lithium insertion materials and porous carbons. The ultimate aim is to produce a complete hybrid supercapacitor with high power and energy density. The project benefits from the expert knowledge and equipment of Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung (ZSW) and the excellent relationships and close cooperation with many domestic and international universities (University of Ulm, Roma La Sapienza University, Camerino University etc.).

High power and energy density

This project focuses on the study of new key materials for the implementation of a new concept for hybrid and asymmetrical supercapacitors that combine a battery-type electrode material (high energy density) with a capacitor material (high power density) in a single cell. Hybridisation between supercapacitor and battery is a new field of research that is hoped will lead to the development of a new “super battery” with a high power and energy density.

Researchers expect to press ahead with the optimisation of a hybrid asymmetrical supercapacitor after achieving the planned objective detailed in work package 4. The ultimate objective is to develop high-performance asymmetrical hybrid supercapacitors intended to replace batteries in the not too distant future owing to their higher efficiency and service life.

Four steps to super batteries

The project is scheduled to run for 48 months with the work phases split up during the course of the project as per the schedule. The development work is split up into four consecutive steps:

  • Synthesis and selection of cathode and anode materials
  • Preparation of composite anodes and cathodes
  • Optimisation of material morphology and processability
  • Development of hybrid battery supercapacitors

The researchers are currently in the first phase of the project, which comprises the synthesis of nano-structured lithium insertion materials (for anodes and cathodes) and the selection of porous carbon-based materials based on their electrochemical and morphological properties. The first milestone (M1) is expected to be reached after 12 months. It comprises the evaluation and selection of the most promising combinations of carbon/lithium insertion materials in an asymmetrical configuration, with a greater energy density than comparable carbon/carbon combinations. The second milestone (M2) is expected to be reached after 36 months, and this envisages the improvement of the specific capacity of the system through the use and synthesis of new porous carbons. The third and fourth milestones (M3 and M4) ultimately will be reached after 48 months with the aim of increasing the energy density in comparison to a standard supercapacitor through further optimisation of electrodes with respect to particle linkage, porosity and composition, with comparably high power density.

Supported by: The Federal Government on the basis of a decision by the German Bundestag


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  • Dr. Sonia Dsoke
    Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung (ZSW) - Abteilung ECM
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Research funding

The information system EnArgus provides information on research funding, including on this project (German only).