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Research activity at Architecture explores a wide variety of significant research areas within architecture and the built environment. Among these is the better exploitation of innovative construction technologies and ICT to optimise 'total building performance', as well as reduce waste and environmental impact. Sustainable architectural and urban design is an important component of this. To this end, the Cluster for Research in Design and Sustainability (CRiDS) focuses its research energies towards developing resilient responses to the social, environmental and economic challenges associated with urbanism and cities, in both the developed and developing world.

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Energy storage in electrochemical capacitors: designing functional materials to improve performance

Hall, Peter J. and Mirzaeian, Mojtaba and Fletcher, S. Isobel and Sillars, Fiona B. and Rennie, Anthony J. R. and Shitta-Bey, Gbolahan O. and Wilson, Grant and Cruden, Andrew and Carter, Rebecca (2010) Energy storage in electrochemical capacitors: designing functional materials to improve performance. Energy & Environmental Science, 3 (9). pp. 1238-1251. ISSN 1754-5692

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Abstract

Electrochemical capacitors, also known as supercapacitors, are becoming increasingly important components in energy storage, although their widespread use has not been attained due to a high cost/ performance ratio. Fundamental research is contributing to lowered costs through the engineering of new materials. Currently the most viable materials used in electrochemical capacitors are biomass-derived and polymer-derived activated carbons, although other carbon materials are useful research tools. Metal oxides could result in a step change for electrochemical capacitor technology and is an exciting area of research. The selection of an appropriate electrolyte and electrode structure is fundamental in determining device performance. Although there are still many uncertainties in understanding the underlying mechanisms involved in electrochemical capacitors, genuine progress continues to be made. It is argued that a large, collaborative international research programme is necessary to fully develop the potential of electrochemical capacitors.