Charging Smartphones in Seconds with New Supercapacitors

aphonethatchNew flexible supercapacitors hold the key to super-fast charging cell phones.

Has it become the time when finally batteries are out and the new and improved supertechnology comes to take their place and glory? It surely looks like it, or at least we are getting closer and closer to that moment, as scientists are making enormous advances in the field.

Here it is- the process that leads to an invention that bypasses batteries in both capacity and speed of charging.

The process, established by scientists at the University of Central Florida, leads to the development of a supercapacitor that can store great amounts of energy, and recharge thousands of times without any degradation- 30,000 to be precise.

This is a true revolution in the field of energy storage and supercapacitors. Up until now, different scientific teams have struggled to find ways to reduce the size of supercapacitors, while still allowing them to store as much energy as a lithium ion battery. There have been many trials, even integrating graphene and nanotechnology, but no practical solution has been found so far.

The method that the guys from UCF developed is different. They decided to use two-dimensional materials, which are very thin. Although others have tried similar approaches, no one has tried to apply a chemical synthesis approach. According to Yeonwoong “Eric” Jung, an assistant professor and principal investigator, this was the key to their success. Using this method, the team was able to integrate other materials inside the two dimensional material.

The result- millions of super thin wires, covered with two-dimensional materials. The core has super-high conductivity, which allows the transfer of electrons. The two-dimensional materials provide the high energy and power density.

According to Dr Nitin Choudhary, a postdoctoral associate involved in the research, if normal batteries in mobile phones are replaced by this supercapacitor, the phone would need only some seconds to charge. What is more, energy top-up would be required only once a week.

The potential of such flexible supercapacitor is huge. No one was able to realize it fully before this development happened. Such supercapacitors can truly revolutionize mobile technology and electric cars.

But will we see it any time soon? Hopefully! It would be a dream come true for many.

If you are interested in more technical details, the research was published in ACS Nano

Image (c) UCF

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