Scientists have developed a supercapacitor that can be woven into clothing to power wearable medical monitors, communications equipment or other small electronics.
The supercapacitor packs an interconnected network of graphene and carbon nanotubes so tightly that it stores energy comparable to some thin-film lithium batteries, researchers said.
The product’s developers, engineers and scientists at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore, Tsinghua University in China, and Case Western Reserve University in the US, believe the storage capacity by volume (called volumetric energy density) is the highest reported for carbon-based microscale supercapacitors to date: 6.3 microwatt hours per cubic millimetre.
The device also maintains the advantage of charging and releasing energy much faster than a battery. The fibre-structured hybrid materials offer huge accessible surface areas and are highly conductive.
The researchers have developed a way to continuously produce the flexible fibre, enabling them to scale up production for a variety of uses. To date, they’ve made 50-metre long fibres, and see no limits on length.
- Here’s Why Delhi-NCR Gets Pollution Code On Lines Of Beijing
- PM Modi Is More Interested In TRP Politics Rahul Gandhi At Congress Parliamentary Meet
- Bigg Boss 10 December 1 Review: Priyanka Jagga Succeeds In Her Divide And Rule Strategy
- Kahaani 2 Audience Reaction: Vidya Balan Starrer Thriller Gets Mixed Reviews
- Find Out What PM Modi Said About Demonetisation On LinkedIn
- Row Over West Bengal ”Military Coup” Issue Escalates: Who Said What
- Here’s How Mohammad Kaif Replied To Virender Sehwag’s Birthday Wish On Twitter
- West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee’s Flight Reportedly Had Low Fuel: Here’s What Happened
- Reliance Jio Welcome Offer Extended Till March 31, JioMoney Launched
- Uri Attackers Came From Pakistan, Establishes Digital Data
- Bigg Boss 10 Nov 30 Episode Review: Captaincy Brings Differences In Manoj Punjabi & Manveer Gurjar
- Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s Official Twitter Handle Hacked
- After Rahul Gandhi’s Twitter Handle, Congress Official Twitter Account Hacked
- 3 Dead As Army Helicopter Crashes In Sukna In West Bengal
- BJP, Congress Engage In War Of Words Over Nagrota Attack: Find Out More
They envision the fibre supercapacitor could be woven into clothing to power medical devices for people at home, or communications devices for soldiers in the field. Or, they say, the fibre could be a space-saving power source and serve as “energy-carrying wires” in medical implants.
Liming Dai, a professor of macromolecular science and engineering at Case Western Reserve and a co-author of the paper in Nature Nanotechnology, explained that most supercapacitors have high power density but low energy density, which means they can charge quickly and give a boost of power, but don’t last long.
Conversely, batteries have high energy density and low power density, which means they can last a long time, but don’t deliver a large amount of energy quickly.
To improve the energy density by volume, the researchers designed a hybrid fibre.
A solution containing acid-oxidised single-wall nanotubes, graphene oxide and ethylenediamine, which promotes synthesis and dopes graphene with nitrogen, is pumped through a flexible narrow reinforced tube called a capillary column and heated in an oven for six hours.
Sheets of graphene, one to a few atoms thick, and aligned, single-walled carbon nanotubes self-assemble into an interconnected prorous network that run the length of the fibre.
The arrangement provides huge amounts of accessible surface area – 396 square metres per gram of hybrid fibre- for the transport and storage of charges.
The materials are tightly packed in the capillary column and remain so as they’re pumped out, resulting in the high volumetric energy density.