Fundamentals of capacitive charge storage in carbon-based supercapacitors

Alexander J. Pak, Gyeong S. Hwang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Supercapacitors are electrochemical energy storage devices known for their large power densities and long lifetimes yet limited energy densities. A conventional understanding of supercapacitors relates the high power to fast ion accumulation at the polarized electrode interface, forming the so-called electric double layer (EDL), and the low energy to limited electrode surface area (SA). As such, carbon-based nanomaterials have been extensively explored as high SA electrode materials. Interestingly, anomalous and nonlinear relationships between observed capacitances and SAs have recently emerged. These observations suggest that a gap exists in our fundamental understanding of charge storage mechanisms due to the introduction of low-dimensional materials. In this chapter, we review new physical insights from both quantum mechanical calculations and atomistic simulations of two broad types of carbon-based nanomaterials. First, the study of graphene-derived materials has highlighted the importance of competing contributions from the electrode and EDL capacitance. Furthermore, the study of nanoporous carbons has elucidated the importance of charging dynamics. Taken together, these findings can be generalized to establish design principles for future electrode materials.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpringer Series in Materials Science
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages28
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NameSpringer Series in Materials Science
ISSN (Print)0933-033X
ISSN (Electronic)2196-2812

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021.


Dive into the research topics of 'Fundamentals of capacitive charge storage in carbon-based supercapacitors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this