Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Carbon nanowalls for future supercapacitors

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
2.09.00  Engineering sciences and technologies  Electronic components and technologies   

Code Science Field
T150  Technological sciences  Material technology 

Code Science Field
2.05  Engineering and Technology  Materials engineering 
carbon nanowalls, rapid synthesis, CO2 plasma, deposition, mechanisms of deposition, supercapacitors
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (18)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  18271  PhD Miha Čekada  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2019 - 2022  441 
2.  18635  Tatjana Filipič    Technical associate  2019 - 2022  24 
3.  15601  Jožko Fišer    Technical associate  2019 - 2022  12 
4.  51483  Blaž Kaplan    Researcher  2019 - 2022 
5.  15703  PhD Janez Kovač  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2019 - 2022  677 
6.  52051  PhD Dane Lojen  Electronic components and technologies  Junior researcher  2019 - 2022  13 
7.  10429  PhD Miran Mozetič  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2019 - 2022  1,354 
8.  26463  PhD Matjaž Panjan  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2019 - 2022  227 
9.  51482  Andrej Petrič    Technical associate  2019 - 2022 
10.  06527  Branko Petrič  Electric devices  Researcher  2019 - 2022  23 
11.  33326  PhD Gregor Primc  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2019 - 2022  266 
12.  34451  PhD Nina Recek  Biotechnology  Researcher  2019 - 2022  85 
13.  29669  Majda Rus  Electric devices  Researcher  2019 - 2022 
14.  31482  Jure Slovša    Technical associate  2019 - 2022 
15.  52497  Maja Šukarov    Technical associate  2019 - 2022 
16.  17622  Janez Trtnik    Technical associate  2019 - 2022  18 
17.  20048  PhD Alenka Vesel  Electronic components and technologies  Head  2019 - 2022  692 
18.  50893  Matjaž Zupan  Electric devices  Researcher  2019 
Organisations (3)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  91,005 
2.  2341  INDUKTIO L.t.d.  Ljubljana  1840711  23 
3.  3549  NELA, razvojni center za elektroindustrijo in elektroniko, d.o.o. (Slovene)  Železniki  3962237  79 
Inductively coupled radio-frequency gaseous plasma (ICP) will be used for a rapid deposition of vertically oriented graphene sheets (thereafter: carbon nanowalls). The structure will be suitable for fabrication of electrostatic double layer capacitors of superior properties. The carbon nanowalls will be deposited from precursors synthesized in-situ in a plasma reactor by interaction between reactive gaseous species created in plasma of a moderate ionization fraction typical for ICP in the H-mode. Working gas will be carbon dioxide. Radicals such as O atoms and CO molecules in excited states will interact with a graphite placed inside the reaction chamber to form metastable oxocarbon molecules of a large C/O ratio. The oxocarbon molecules will diffuse in the reaction chamber until they rich the substrate where they will decompose and provide building blocks for carbon nanowalls. The desired growth rate will be of the order of 100 nm/s what is orders of magnitude larger than in the case of the growth using a typical plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD) with hydrocarbon precursors which is used nowadays. The properties of carbon nanowalls will be studied versus the discharge parameters. The goal is optimization of technology to synthesize about 5 micrometers thick layer of carbon nanowalls uniformly over the substrate area of about 100 cm2 in the time scale of about 10 s. The best deposition conditions in terms of uniformity, growth rate and properties of carbon nanowalls as well as energy efficiency will be determined experimentally. Thorough characterization of samples deposited at various conditions will enable drawing correlations between discharge parameters and deposition kinetics. Also plasma will be characterized in details what will enable drawing correlations between plasma parameters and properties of the deposited nanowalls. The samples will be further treated with mild gaseous plasma to obtain superior surface properties including the wettability which will be tailored almost arbitrary between super-hydrophobic and super-hydrophilic surface finish. Commercially interesting solutions will be protected by a patent application, while scientific aspects will be prepared as scientific papers which will be submitted to renowned multidisciplinary journals.
Significance for science
The scientific breakthrough is a completely new approach to synthesis of highly oriented carbon nanomaterials. To the best of our knowledge there is no report on application of metastable gaseous molecules containing oxocarbons for synthesizing thin films of carbon nanowalls in scientific literature. Almost all authors use CHx radicals for synthesizing carbon nanowalls. Expected results will be publications in prestigious multidisciplinary journals with a very high impact factor. To be more specific, we shall disclose a completely new approach to deposition of highly oriented structures by Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapour Deposition (PECVD). The current approach is introduction of gaseous precursors in a reaction chamber and their radicalization upon plasma conditions to desired radicals. The radicals then condense on a substrate to form solid films. Our approach is to introduce a simple gas (carbon dioxide) into a reaction chamber, radicalize it and allow said radicals (in particular O and CO) to react with a surface of heated graphite to form molecules that are rarely reported in scientific literature. A good overview of proved and hypothetical oxocarbons is presented in Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxocarbon . Linear carbon dioxides and monoxides have been proved to exist (despite they are unstable) but it is unlikely to be formed on a surface of graphite. Graphene oxides have been synthesized and used by numerous authors including members of our group but they are solid and have very low vapour pressure at temperatures involved in our experiments. We propose so far unknown oxocarbons which form on the graphite surface, desorb from the graphite at elevated temperature (between 500 and 1000 °C), are rather stable in the gas phase and decompose on heated metallic surfaces to form carbon nanowalls.
Significance for the country
The results of the proposed project will enable our industrial partner and co-financer of this project a critical estimation of the applicability of innovative technology for deposition of carbon nanowalls on industrial scale. If the results are according to hypothesis and we reach the goal of uniform coatings on a surface of 100 cm2 obtained in a treatment time of about 10 s, the company will invest in further industrial research with the goal of developing a device for deposition of carbon nanowalls on substrates in the continuous mode. The company Iskra Kondenzatorji (translates as “Spark – Capacitors”) has a solid market share in specific types of capacitors – almost all production is exported and an important market is East Asia. The company has ambitious plans to enter the niche of super-capacitors whose market potential is regarded enormous. At present, the market for supercapacitors is still a small niche market of total sales in 2016 just over 400 million USD. In 2016, IDTechEx forecasted sales to grow to $2 billion by 2026, an annual increase of about 24%. https://www.idtechex.com/research/reports/supercapacitor-technologies-and-markets-2018-2028-000568.asp The limiting factor is definitely the price. The technology which will be investigated within the proposed project promises much lower costs than for current supercapacitors. As explained in the project description, our innovative technique will use carbon dioxide as the working gas and graphite as the source of oxocarbon precursors, so material costs will be marginal. The major costs are attributed to electricity for powering RF generators, but the efficiency could be improved during the phase of industrial research which will hopefully start even before accomplishing this applied project.
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