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Research Papers

Ion Storage in Nanoconfined Interstices Between Vertically Aligned Nanotubes in Electric Double-Layer Capacitors

[+] Author and Article Information
Aniruddha Dive

School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering,
Washington State University,
Pullman, WA 99164-2920

Soumik Banerjee

School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering,
Washington State University,
Pullman, WA 99164-2920
e-mail: soumik.banerjee@wsu.edu

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received May 31, 2017; final manuscript received August 10, 2017; published online September 19, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Kevin Huang.

J. Electrochem. En. Conv. Stor. 15(1), 011001 (Sep 19, 2017) (8 pages) Paper No: JEECS-17-1060; doi: 10.1115/1.4037582 History: Received May 31, 2017; Revised August 10, 2017

Ionic liquids are considered promising electrolytes for developing electric double-layer capacitors (EDLCs) with high energy density. To identify optimal operating conditions, we performed molecular dynamics simulations of N-methyl-N-propyl pyrrolidinium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide (mppy+ TFSI) ionic liquid confined in the interstices of vertically aligned carbon nanostructures mimicking the electrode structure. We modeled various surface charge densities as well as varied the distance between nanotubes in the array. Our results indicate that high-density ion storage occurs within the noninteracting double-layer region formed in the nanoconfined domain between charged nanotubes. We determined the specific arrangement of these ions relative to the nanotube surface and related the layered configuration to the molecular structure of the ions. The pitch distance of the nanotube array that enables optimal mppy+ TFSI storage and enhanced capacitance is determined to be 16 Å.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

(a) A cross-sectional view of the x–y plane, perpendicular to the axes of the CNTs, of the simulation domain is shown with emphasis on the ions that constitute the double-layer around the CNTs. The distance between the surfaces of the nanotubes is defined as the pitch and is varied at 12 Å, 16 Å, and 20 Å. (b) A three-dimensional view of the simulation domain comprising the CNTs and ionic liquid ions is shown. (c) Structures of the mppy+ ion (top) and TFSI ion(bottom) are shown.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

The variation of number density of nitrogen of mppy+ [N(mppy+)] and nitrogen of TFSI [N(TFSI)] in the radial direction is shown for the system 25 TF. The reference distance R = 0 corresponds to the axis of the positively charged CNTs. Three distinct pitches of (a) 12 Å, (b) 16 Å, and (c) 20 Å were analyzed, and the distributions are shown to a maximum limit Rmax that corresponds to the axis of symmetry between two adjacent nanotubes.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

The variation of number density of nitrogen of mppy+ [N(mppy+)] and nitrogen of TFSI [N(TFSI)] in the radial direction is shown for the system 25 MP. The reference distance R = 0 corresponds to the axis of the negatively charged CNTs. Three distinct pitches of (a) 12 Å, (b) 16 Å, and (c) 20 Å were analyzed, and the distributions are shown to a maximum limit Rmax that corresponds to the axis of symmetry between two adjacent nanotubes.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

The variation of number density of hydrogen atom of mppy+ [H(mppy+)] and N(mppy+) for the system 25 MP at a pitch of 20 Å is shown

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

The RDF for N(mppy+) (denoted as N+) with respect to N(TFSI) (denoted as N) is shown for the system 25 TF at different pitches

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Number density of (a) N(TFSI) and (b) N(mppy+) for the systems with positively charged CNTs, 5 TF and 25 TF, with pitch of 20 Å is presented

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Number density of (a) N(TFSI) and (b) N(mppy+) for the systems with negatively charged CNTs, 5 MP and 25 MP, with pitch of 20 Å is presented

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Average electrostatic potential difference for CNT with surface charge density of (a) +0.08 C/m2 and (b) −0.08 C/m2 is presented for various CNT arrays

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