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Sci Rep. 2015 Dec 22;5:18419. doi: 10.1038/srep18419.

A Smart Colorful Supercapacitor with One Dimensional Photonic Crystals.

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State Key Laboratory of Bioelectronics, School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China.


To meet the pressing demands for portable and flexible equipment in contemporary society, developing flexible, lightweight, and sustainable supercapacitor systems with large power densities, long cycle life, and ease of strongly required. However, estimating the state-of-charge of existing supercapacitors is difficult, and thus their service life is limited. In this study, we fabricate a flexible color indicative supercapacitor device with mesoporous polyaniline (mPANI)/Poly(N-Isopropyl acrylamide-Graphene Oxide-Acrylic Acid) (P(NiPPAm-GO-AA)) one dimensional photonic crystals (1DPCs) as the electrode material through a low-cost, eco-friendly, and scalable fabrication process. We found that the state-of-charge could be monitored by the structural color oscillation due to the change in the photonic band gap position of the 1DPCs. The flexible 1DPCs supercapacitor is thin at 3 mm and exhibits good specific capacitance of 22.6 F g(-1) with retention of 91.1% after 3,000 cycles. This study shows the application of the 1DPCs supercapacitor as a visual ultrathin power source. The technology may find many applications in future wearable electronics.

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