The innovation engine for new materials

Alec Anderson

Alec Anderson


University of California, Santa Barbara


Chemical Engineering

Site Abroad: 

Chalmers Institute of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden


Anderson Smith
Qi Li

Faculty Sponsor(s): 

Peter Enoksson

Project Title: 

Improving Spin Coating of Carbon Materials for Use as Micro Supercapacitor Electrodes

Project Description: 

   To keep up with demand for microelectronics and energy storage in devices such as medical implants, development of microsupercapacitors is vital because of their long cycle life and high power density. These devices are comprised of carbon electrodes, such as CNTs and GO, on top of current collectors patterned into pairs of high surface area structures that are submersed in electrolyte. Carbon materials improve the electrical properties of these devices; however, the process of coating and patterning them faces challenges such as carbon adhesion and pattern defects. To improve the adhesion, several procedures were investigated, including deposition of iron nanoparticles and oxygen plasma roughening. The improved surface roughness was measured through atomic force microscopy and carbon spin coatings were stress tested with sonication. The iron nanoparticles increased the surface roughness, measured as the arithmetic mean deviation, from 0.18 nm to 3.24 nm. Sonication tests found that roughening the surface before coating and annealing the coatings for longer increased the adhesion of carbon materials. To create micro supercapacitor electrodes, the CNTs and GO were coated onto patterned gold current collectors and put through a hard mask lithography process. The aluminum hard mask on top of carbon was patterned with chlorine ion etching and the carbon outside the pattern was etched away with oxygen plasma. Various material thicknesses, process times, power settings, and protective coatings were optimized to improve resolution of the electrode pattern until a functioning carbon electrode microsupercapacitor was realized