Scientists at the University of the Central Florida recently have developed a new process for creating a supercapacitor battery concept, that have more energy storage capacity and can be recharged more than 30,000 times without beginning to degrade.
The high-powered battery with supercapacitors allows storing a large amount of the energy. The new process has been developed by a research team at the NanoScience Tech Center, part of the University of Central Florida. The research has concluded that the current smartphone batteries degrade and start to lose power faster after just 6 months.
In order to store and discharge energy, existing batteries use the various chemical reactions that take time to occur. Because they just store energy statically on the surface of the material, supercapacitors charge quickly. This new high-powered battery is a small, and thin piece of metal that could also be used in wearables, such as fitness trackers and smart watches.
The research could yield high-capacity, and ultra-fast-charging batteries that last over 20 times longer than a conventional lithium-ion cell. ‘You could charge your smartphones in a few seconds and you would not need to charge it again for over a week,’ says the UCF postdoctoral associate Nitin Choudhary.
Supercapacitors can be charged quickly because they store electricity statically on the surface of a material, rather than just using chemical reactions like batteries. That requires ‘two-dimensional’ material sheets with large surface areas that can hold lots of electrons.
This isn’t the first time scientists have attempted to use nanomaterials to boost supercapacitors – it’s something researchers have been working on for years.
However, like the many nascent technologies, the UCF flexible supercapacitor hasn’t yet been developed sufficiently for release to market.
‘It’s not ready for commercialization,’ said associate professor Jung. ‘But this is a proof of the concept demonstration, and our studies show there are very high impacts for many technologies.’
If this tech can eventually be brought to market, or at least lead to a commercial device, it could help to bring about superfast-charging cellphones and electric vehicles, as well as high-powered wearables with its flexible design that could be woven into garments or molded around devices.