Near-superhydrophobic silicone microcapsule arrays encapsulating ionic liquid electrolytes for micro-power storage assuming use in seawater
Kaede Iwasaki, Tsuyoshi Yoshida & Masayuki Okoshi
Micro-energy storage, which is convenient for combination with energy harvesting, is known to be realized by microencapsulation with various shell materials, its application is limited to land. Here, we succeeded in fabricating a silicone microcapsule array encapsulating an ionic liquid electrolyte that can store minute power in NaCl solution as well as a minute power generation method. The ArF excimer laser-irradiated silicone rubber underneath silica microspheres was photochemically and periodically swelled by the photodissociation of silicone. Accompanied by the microswellings, the lower molecular weight silicones generated were ejected along a curvature of each the microsphere to enclose the microspheres. After the chemical etching, the silicone microcapsule arrays became hollow. Moreover, each the hollow silicone microcapsule could entrap an ionic liquid in a vacuum. In addition, the silicone microcapsules before and after the encapsulating ionic liquid showed a superhydrophobic or near-superhydrophobic property. As a result, the silicone microcapsule arrays could be confined in a uniform air gap of electrically insulated region in NaCl solution. This means that each the silicone microcapsule encapsulating ionic liquid as electrolytes enables to function as an electric double layer capacitor for micro-power storage, aiming to connect with Internet of Things devices that work under seawater.
silicone, ionic liquid electrolytes, storage