Bricks as rechargeable batteries
Energy storing bricks for stationary PEDOT supercapacitors
Fired brick is a universal building material, produced by thousand-year-old technology, that throughout history has seldom served any other purpose. Here, we develop a scalable, cost-effective and versatile chemical synthesis using a fired brick to control oxidative radical polymerization and deposition of a nanofibrillar coating of the conducting polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT). A fired brick’s open microstructure, mechanical robustness and ~8 wt% α-Fe2O3 content afford an ideal substrate for developing electrochemical PEDOT electrodes and stationary supercapacitors that readily stack into modules. Five-minute epoxy serves as a waterproof case enabling the operation of our supercapacitors while submerged underwater and a gel electrolyte extends cycling stability to 10,000 cycles with ~90% capacitance retention.