A novel monolithic, pre-fabricated, fully functional film made of a nanostructured free-standing layer is presented for a new and competitive class of easy-to-assemble flexible supercapacitors whose design is in-between the all solid state and the traditional liquid electrolyte. The film is made of two vertically aligned multi-walled carbon nanotube (VANT) electrodes that store ions, embedded-in, and monolithically interspaced by a solution of microcrystalline cellulose in a room temperature ionic liquid (RTIL) electrolyte (1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate-EMIM Ac). The fine tuning of VANTs length and electrolyte/cellulose amount leads, in a sole and continuous block, to ions storage and physical separation between the electrodes without the need of the additional separator layer that is typically used in supercapacitors. Thus, physical discontinuities that can induce disturbances to ions mobility, are fully eliminated significantly reducing the equivalent series resistance and increasing the knee frequency, hence outclassing the best supercapacitors based on VANTs and non-aqueous electrolytes. The excellent electrochemical response can also be addressed to the chosen electrolyte that, not only has the advantage of leading to a significantly simpler and more affordable fabrication procedure, but has higher ionic conductivity, lower viscosity and higher ions mobility than other electrolytes capable of dissolving cellulose.
Basirico', L., Lanzara, G. (2014). A monolithic functional film of nanotubes/cellulose/ionic liquid for high performance supercapacitors. JOURNAL OF POWER SOURCES, 271, 589-596 [10.1016/j.jpowsour.2014.08.040].