A major challenge in micro unmanned vehicle and, in particular, micro aerial vehicle development stems from the lack of suitable energy storage devices. Demanding voltage and power requirements and stringent size and weight constraints significantly limit the number and type of batteries that can be housed in the micro vehicle structures. As a result, vehicle payloads and endurance times are significantly compromised. One approach to solving this issue would be to develop multifunctional energy storage devices that are capable of supplying energy to the vehicle while bearing some of the vehicle’s structural loads. In doing so, the amount of mass available for payload and/or additional energy storage devices can be increased. Recently, researchers have demonstrated the ability to produce lightweight, flexible batteries and supercapacitors based on carbon nanotubes and graphene. Due to their low mass, small size, and energy storing potential, carbon nanomaterial-based energy storage devices are excellent candidates for use in micro vehicle applications. However, due to the rapid pace in which the nanoscience field is advancing, there is limited information on how different materials, processing techniques, and device architectures influence the electrical properties of the device under investigation. In this study, we will systematically review these variables in an effort to discover how the materials and structure of the electrode and separator might be tailored to achieve both the desired material properties and the highest energy density per device weight and volume.

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