Researchers at UCLA, while trying to figure out a way to mass produce graphene, an extremely thin pure form of carbon, have created a supercapacitor that can be charged quickly and can hold much more electricity than standard batteries. And the same research team now feels that they’ve found a way to mass produce these supercapacitors.
UCLA Kaner Lab’s Maher El-Kady developed a way to easily make sheets of graphene one single carbon atom thick by coating a DVD with a liquid carbon solution and sticking it in a standard DVD burner – the laser did the rest. But somewhere along the way, he discovered that this single sheet of graphene could hold a lot of electricity and could be charged extremely quick. So the team found a way to embed electrodes within each graphene unit on a flexible backing – each supercapacitor is bendable, making them potentially useful for products like roll-up displays and wearable electronics. The real wow factor is the possibility of this technology being used in electric cars – the fast charging times means that there’s a potential for an electric car to be charged to full in about a minute. They’ve already reached energy densities comparable to those in existing lithium-ion batteries. This is definitely one to watch.
Here’s the video describing their initial accidental discovery – via: Rewire