The current electric vehicles (EVs) face many challenges like limited charge capacity, low miles/charge, and long charging times. Herein, these issues are addressed by developing "energized composite," which is a multifunctional supercapacitor-based energy-storing carbon fiber reinforced polymer composite that can store supplemental electric energy and function as the body shell of EV's. This is achieved by developing a unique design, vertically aligning graphene sheets on carbon fiber electrodes and depositing metal oxides to obtain high energy density electrodes. A high-strength multilayer composite is fabricated using an alternate layer pattern configuration of epoxy and polyacrylamide gel electrolyte. The composite so developed can deliver a high areal energy density of 0.31 mWh cm–2 at 0.3 mm thickness and has a high tensile strength of 518 MPa, bending strength of 477 MPa, and impact strength of 2666 J m–1. Moreover, this composite can harvest and store energy when integrated with a solar cell, demonstrating its potential applications in communication satellites. The composite's unique ability to function as both a structural body panel and energy storage device for EVs stems from its unique pattern design alternating between "Electrochemical Areas (EcA)" and "Epoxy Area (EpA)". The design optimization using ANSYS simulation and confirmation using fabricated samples enabled us to derive a series of ratios between EcA vs. EpA. This data is highly beneficial for maximizing the charge storage ability of the composite for a given application while maintaining a certain tensile and bending strength.


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Graduation Date





Thomas, Jayan


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Materials Science and Engineering

Degree Program

Materials Science and Engineering


CFE0009835; DP0027776





Release Date

June 2024

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)

Restricted to the UCF community until June 2024; it will then be open access.