Ultrafast charge and discharge biscrolled yarn supercapacitors for textiles and microdevices

Nat Commun. 2013;4:1970. doi: 10.1038/ncomms2970.


Flexible, wearable, implantable and easily reconfigurable supercapacitors delivering high energy and power densities are needed for electronic devices. Here we demonstrate weavable, sewable, knottable and braidable yarns that function as high performance electrodes of redox supercapacitors. A novel technology, gradient biscrolling, provides fast-ion-transport yarn in which hundreds of layers of conducting-polymer-infiltrated carbon nanotube sheet are scrolled into ~20 μm diameter yarn. Plying the biscrolled yarn with a metal wire current collector increases power generation capabilities. The volumetric capacitance is high (up to ~179 F cm(-3)) and the discharge current of the plied yarn supercapacitor linearly increases with voltage scan rate up to ~80 V s(-1) and ~20 V s(-1) for liquid and solid electrolytes, respectively. The exceptionally high energy and power densities for the complete supercapacitor, and high cycle life that little depends on winding or sewing (92%, 99% after 10,000 cycles, respectively) are important for the applications in electronic textiles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.