PerspectiveEnergy Storage

Charge delivery goes the distance

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Science  12 May 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6338, pp. 582-583
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan1472

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Nanostructured electrode materials have shown considerable promise for storing more energy (higher energy density) and being more rapidly charged and discharged (higher power density) (1, 2) than conventional electrodes. However, these materials are usually limited to laboratory cells with ultrathin electrodes and very low mass loadings (<1 mg cm−2). To reach the requirements of commercial cells (mass loading of ∼10 mg cm−2 or more), sufficient charge must be delivered fairly rapidly across thick electrodes. This requirement is especially challenging for emerging nanomaterials, which require much more charge delivered in a given time than do conventional electrode materials. On page 599 of this issue, Sun et al. (3) report the design of a three-dimensional (3D) holey graphene framework (HGF) that enables highly efficient charge delivery. An unprecedented combination of high areal capacity and current density at practical mass loadings (10 to 20 mg cm−2) marks a critical step toward the use of high-performance electrode materials in commercial cells.