The ability to charge cellphones in seconds is one step closer after researchers at the University of Waterloo used nanotechnology to significantly improve energy-storage devices known as supercapacitors.
Their novel design roughly doubles the amount of electrical energy the rapid-charging devices can hold, helping pave the way for eventual use in everything from smartphones and laptop computers, to electric vehicles and high-powered lasers.
“We’re showing record numbers for the energy-storage capacity of supercapacitors,” said Michael Pope, a professor of chemical engineering who led the Waterloo research. “And the more energy-dense we can make them, the more batteries we can start displacing.”
Supercapacitors are a promising, green alternative to traditional batteries–with benefits including improved safety and reliability, in addition to much faster charging–but applications have been limited so far by their relatively low storage capacity.
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