Thermopower Wave-Driven Hybrid Supercapacitor Charging System

Dongjoon Shin, Hayoung Hwang, Taehan Yeo, Byungseok Seo, Wonjoon Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The development of new energy sources and harvesting methods has increased with the rapid development of multiscale wireless and portable systems. A thermopower wave (TW) is a potential portable energy source that exhibits a high power density. TWs generate electrical energy via the transport of charges inside micro- or nanostructured materials. This transport is induced by self-propagating combustion. Despite the high specific power of TWs, the generation of energy by TWs is transient, making a TW device a one-time use source, which is a critical limitation on the further advancement of this technology. Herein, we first report the development of a hybrid supercapacitor charging system driven by consecutive TWs to accumulate multiple amounts of energy generated by the repetitive combustion of the chemical fuel. In this study, hybrid layers composed of a supercapacitor (poly(vinyl alcohol)/MnO2/nickel) and solid fuel layer (nitrocellulose film) were fabricated as one integrated platform. Combustion was initiated by the ignition of the fuel layer, resulting in the production of electrical energy, attributed to the potential difference between two electrodes, and the transport of charges inside one of the electrodes. Electrical energy could simultaneously and directly charge the supercapacitor, and the discharged voltage could be significantly increased in comparison with the voltage level before the application of a TW. Furthermore, the application of multiple TWs in succession in the hybrid supercapacitor charging system successfully allowed for stack voltage amplification, which was synchronized to each TW. The results of this study could be used to understand the underlying phenomena for charging supercapacitors with the variation of thermal energy and to advance the application of TWs as more efficient, practical energy sources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31042-31050
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number45
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Nov 16

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.


  • combustion
  • electrical energy generation
  • exothermic chemical reaction
  • supercapacitor
  • thermal transport
  • thermopower wave

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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