Abstract: Storing as much energy as possible in as compact a space as possible is an ever-increasing concern to deal with the emerging “space anxiety” in electrochemical energy storage (EES) devices like batteries, which is known as “compact energy storage”. Carbons built from graphene units can be used as active electrodes or inactive key materials acting as porous micro- or even nano-reactors that facilitate battery reactions and play a vital role in optimizing the volumetric performance of the electrode and the battery. In this review, we discuss and clarify the key issues and specific strategies for compact energy storage, especially in batteries. The use of shrinkable carbon networks to produce small yet sufficient reaction space together with smooth charge delivery is highlighted as the simplest structure–function-performance relationship when used in supercapacitors and is then extended to overcome problems in compact rechargeable lithium/sodium/potassium batteries. Special concerns about cycling stability, fast charging and safety in compact batteries are discussed in detail. Strategies for compact energy storage ranging from materials to electrodes to batteries are reviewed here to provide guidance for how to produce a compact high energy battery by densifying the electrodes using customized carbon structures.

Compact energy storage enabled by graphenes: Challenges, strategies and progress
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DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2021.07.026