Effect of cation size of binary cation ionic liquid mixtures on capacitive energy storage

Ionic liquid mixtures show promise as electrolytes for supercapacitors with nanoporous electrodes. Herein, we investigate theoretically and with experiments how binary electrolytes comprising a common anion and two types of differently-sized cations affect capacitive energy storage. We find that such electrolytes can enhance the capacitance of single nanopores and nanoporous electrodes under potential differences negative relative to the potential of zero charge. For a two-electrode cell, however, they are beneficial only at low and intermediate cell voltages, while a neat ionic liquid performs better at higher voltages. We reveal subtle effects of how the distribution of pores accessible to different types of ions correlates with charge storage and suggest approaches to increase capacitance and stored energy density with ionic liquid mixtures.