Journal of Solid State Electrochemistry

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 125–133 | Cite as

Polyvinyl alcohol-acid redox active gel electrolytes for electrical double-layer capacitor devices

  • Belqasem Aljafari
  • Turki Alamro
  • Manoj K. Ram
  • Arash TakshiEmail author
Original Paper


Since the mechanism of charge storage in electrical double-layer capacitors (EDLCs) relies on diffusion of ions into the pores of the electrodes, in general, a much lower capacitance is expected for gel-based electrolytes than liquid electrolytes. However, in this work, we have found that the specific capacitance in gel-based electrolytes made of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and an acid (H2SO4 or H3PO4) is even higher than the specific capacitances of similar devices with liquid acid-based electrolytes. We have discovered that the reason is due to the gel being a redox active material with the capability of charge storage in the volume of the electrolyte. In this work, solid-state and flexible devices with both H2SO4-PVA and H3PO4–PVA electrolytes were fabricated and characterized. The cyclic voltammetry (CV) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) methods were applied to estimate the capacitance associated to the gel electrolytes. Also, a relatively high cycling stability of 97.5% for H2SO4-PVA and 95% for H3PO4-PVA was obtained after 1000 charging-discharging cycles. A mechanism of charge storage is proposed to explain the redox active behavior of the gel electrolyte. The presented results are promising for employment of PVA gel electrolytes in some low-cost applications.


Gel electrolyte Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) Electrical double-layer capacitors Multi-wall carbon nanotube Glassy carbon (GC) 


Funding information

This work was financially supported by a grant from National Science Foundation (NSF 1400017) and a grant from Community Foundation of Tampa Bay.

Supplementary material

10008_2018_4120_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.4 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 1444 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Electrical EngineeringUniversity of South Florida (USF)TampaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA
  3. 3.PolyMaterials APP LLCTampaUSA
  4. 4.Clean Energy Research CenterUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA

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