Scientists in Florida develop nano supercapacitor storage technology
University of Central Florida (UCF) scientists have developed a process for creating flexible supercapacitors that can store more energy and be recharged more than 30,000 times without degrading.
The supercapacitors are composed of millions of nanometer-thick wires coated with a two-dimensional materials, Science Daily reports. The highly-conductive core facilitates fast charging and discharging, while the outer shell yields higher energy and power densities.
The technology could be used in applications as varied as mobile phones and electric vehicles and storage devices coupled with solar panels.
Lithum-ion batteries have become the workhorse of energy storage, but they have problems. They are heavy, relatively expensive and can pose a fire hazard.
That is why scientists are exploring new technologies to either improve li-ion chemistry or to replace them altogether with supercapacitors for some applications.
A supercapacitor that holds as much energy as a li-ion battery would have to be very large, but nanotechnology opens a possible solution to that problem.
Science Daily reports scientists at UCF’s NanoScience Technology Center may have just advanced the campaign through their experiments with new two-dimensional materials only a few atoms thick.
While there have been issues in incorporating two-dimensional materials into existing supercapacitor designs, Yeonwoong "Eric" Jung, a UCF professor, told the outlet their new "chemical synthesis approach" can "nicely integrate the existing materials with the two-dimensional materials."
Some researchers have also used graphene, a form of carbon, in supercapacitors, but they have had limited success.
Jung said the supercapacitor research, published in the journal ACS Nano, is a "proof-of-concept demonstration, " and that the technology is not ready for commercialization.
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