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These New Supercapacitors Could Charge Mobile Phones in Seconds

Nov 22, 2016 05:30 AM EST

Scientists from the University of Central Florida's NanoScience Technology Center have developed a new novel method of creating flexible supercapacitors that survive recharging more than 30,000 times without degrading.

The new method, described in a paper published in the journal ACS Nano, showed that a simple chemical synthesis approach could very well integrate existing nanomaterials for supercapacitors with the two-dimensional materials. By integrating the materials, the researchers were able to utilize the potential of two-dimensional materials for energy storage applications.

"If they were to replace the batteries with these supercapacitors, you could charge your mobile phone in a few seconds and you wouldn't need to charge it again for over a week," explained Nitin Choudhary, a postdoctoral associate at UCF and lead author of the paper, in a press release. "For small electronic devices, our materials are surpassing the conventional ones worldwide in terms of energy density, power density and cyclic stability."

For the UCF team's supercapacitors, the researchers used millions of nanometer-thick wires coated with shells of two-dimensional materials. The highly conductive core of the supercapacitor facilitates electron transfer for fast charging and discharging, while the uniformly coated shells of two-dimensional materials yield high energy and power densities.

These new process could create a supercapacitor that doesn't degrade even after being recharged 30,000 times. In comparison, a lithium-ion battery can only be recharge fewer than 1,500 times without significant failures and other formulations of supercapacitors with two-dimensional materials can only be recharged a few thousand times.

The researchers noted that the result of their experiments involving their new supercapacitors was only conducted to demonstrate proof-of-concept. The actual supercapacitors are not yet ready for commercialization. However, the results of their study could have a heavy impact in many technologies, especially in the field of electronic gadgets and wearables.

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