Aerogel capacitor is a type of EDLC ultracapacitor which uses Carbon Aerogel as active material to attain immense electrode surface area, can attain huge values, up to thousands of farads. Carbon aerogel is a unique material providing extremely high surface area of about 400-1000 m²/g. The electrodes of aerogel supercapacitors are usually made of non-woven paper made from carbon fibers and coated with organic aerogel, which then undergoes pyrolysis. The paper is a composite material where the carbon fibers provide structural integrity and the aerogel provides the required large surface. Small aerogel supercapacitors are being used as backup electricity storage in microelectronics, but applications for electric vehicles are expected.

Advantages of Aerogel Capacitors

  • Aerogel Capacitor has a uniform pore size distribution, high usable surface area, and high electrical conductivity. For a given capacitance, it’s between 2000 to 5000 times smaller than electrolytic capacitors.
  • Ultra low leakage current (can hold a charge for several weeks).
  • Very low ESR for high power and low loss during operation.
  • Can be cycled hundreds of thousands of times with very fast charge and discharge rates, as opposed to only hundreds of cycles for batteries.
  • Wide operating temperature range.
  • Small size
  • Very good pulse handling capability
  • Carbon aerogel capacitors have achieved 325 J/g (90 W•h/kg) energy density and 20 W/g power density

Applications of Aerogel Capacitors

The small size and very good pulse handling capability of Aerogel capacitors make them suitable for battery powered portable handheld applications.

Challenges of Aerogel Capacitors

Aerogel capacitors can work only at a few volts; higher voltages would ionize the carbon and damage the capacitor.

To know more about ultracapacitors family, please read Everything About EDLC Ultracapacitor Supercapacitor