Low cost printable power sources are needed e.g. in sensors and RFID applications. As manufg. method, printing is preferred to keep the costs low. The materials should also be easily disposable. Enzymic bio-fuel cells are an alternative for printable primary batteries. Since one drawback of bio-fuel cells is their low power, the authors have developed supercapacitors that can be combined with enzymic bio-fuel cells to provide the power peaks necessary in the applications. The materials for the supercapacitors have been chosen to be compatible with the fuel cell and with printing methods, e.g. the activated C powder in the electrodes was bound with chitosan. As printing substrates the authors used paperboards. The current collectors have been made of graphite and metal inks. Since the voltage requirement is limited to ∼1 V, aq. electrolytes have been used. Printed supercapacitors of various sizes have been prepd. The geometrical electrode areas have been between 0.5 and 2 cm2. The max. feasible output current was in the order of 50 mA corresponding to ∼50 mW power. When the capacitor is used together with an enzymic power source, the leakage current must be as low as possible. Typical leakage current values have been in the order of 10 μA.
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