Freestanding Ion Gels for Flexible, Printed, Multifunctional Microsupercapacitors

Donghoon Song, Fazel Zare Bidoky, Ethan B. Secor, Mark C. Hersam, Daniel Frisbie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Freestanding ion gels (FIGs) provide unique opportunities for scalable, low-cost fabrication of flexible microsupercapacitors (MSCs). While conventional MSCs employ a distinct electrolyte and substrate, FIGs perform both functions, offering new possibilities for device integration and multifunctionality while maintaining high performance. Here, a capillarity-driven printing method is demonstrated to manufacture high-precision graphene electrodes on FIGs for MSCs. This method achieves excellent self-alignment and resolution (width: 50 μm, interdigitated electrode footprint: <1 mm 2 ) and 100% fabrication yield (48/48 devices) and is readily generalized to alternative electrode materials including multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). The devices demonstrate good performance, including high specific capacitance (graphene: 0.600 mF cm -2 MWCNT: 6.64 mF cm -2 ) and excellent stability against bending, folding, and electrical cycling. Moreover, this strategy offers unique opportunities for device design and integration, including a bifacial electrode structure with enhanced capacitance (graphene: 0.673 mF cm -2 MWCNT: 7.53 mF cm -2 ) and improved rate performance, print-and-place versatility for integration on diverse substrates, and multifunctionality for light emission and transistor gating. These compelling results demonstrate the potential of FIGs for scalable, low-cost fabrication of flexible, printed, and multifunctional energy storage devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9947-9954
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 13 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the Multi-University Research Initiative (MURI) program (N00014-11-1-0690) sponsored by the Office of Naval Research. C.D.F. also acknowledges support by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under grant number CMMI-1634263. Support from the Air Force Research Laboratory under agreement number FA8650-15-2-5518 is also acknowledged. Parts of this work were performed at the Minnesota Nano Center and the Characterization Facility at the University of Minnesota, which receives support from the MRSEC program of NSF under DMR-1420013. The U. S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Governmental purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation thereon. The views and conclusions contained herein are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either expressed or implied, of the sponsors.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 American Chemical Society.


  • flexible foldable microsupercapacitors
  • freestanding ion gels
  • multifunctional devices
  • pristine graphene ink
  • self-aligned printing

How much support was provided by MRSEC?

  • Shared

Reporting period for MRSEC

  • Period 5

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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