Better Than Battery Power?

Advancing Science, Serving Society (AAAS) has suggested that a new technique could make Supercapacitors more competitive with batteries

Researchers used a standard DVD drive to hone carbon into ultrathin, high-performance energy storage devices, which may inspire a new generation of flexible electronics.

The laser inside a standard DVD drive can be used to produce sheets of carbon a single atom thick, which store nearly as much energy as a battery but charge hundreds of times faster, researchers report in the 16 March issue of Science.

The thin sheets act as supercapacitors, an energy storage alternative to batteries that has undergone intense research in the past two decades. Flexible and tough, the capacitors built by Maher El-Kady of the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues someday could power a new generation of roll-up computer displays, or electronic fabrics that harvest and store energy produced by body movements.

Supercapacitors can charge and discharge more rapidly than batteries, but tend to hold less energy than battery designs. To solve this problem, scientists have been experimenting with single-atom-thick sheets of carbon called graphene. Carbon is excellent at conducting electricity, and spreading it thin creates an exceptionally large surface area on which to store more energy.

Source: AAAS.org


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