Yi Cui, a researcher from Stanford and his team have succeeded making office paper into an electrode by dipping it into nanotube ink. The resulted dipped paper becomes a strong, flexible and highly conductive material that could be incorporated into lightweight batteries or serving as an electrode in high-energy ultracapacitors. The nanotube-treated paper can store much more energy than classic batteries.
The scientists made the ink by mixing carbon nanotubes with a surfactant, which keeps the nanotubes from clumping together. When they sank the paper into this ink, it soaked up the nanotubes like a sponge. After that, they scratched it, rolled it, and proved its physical strengths. Then, they tested its electrical properties in energy storage devices.
Ultracapacitors are in the view of car manufacturers for their rapid charge-discharge properties, and several experiments have been made in real-life situations, on real vehicles until now. Seeking cheaper alternatives for the constituent materials is thus necessary for electric cars to succeed in becoming a viable alternative to modern petrol cars, be them small or big.