With the potential to push past the lithium ion cells in the majority of mobile tech today, scientists from the University of Central Florida have created a supercapacitor battery prototype. This model works like new even after 30,000 recharges and has an estimated lifetime 20 times longer than traditional mobile battery sources.
Supercapacitors can be charged quickly because they store energy on the surface of a material rather than using internal chemical reactions. This two dimensional sheet is predominately made of graphene and prioritizes surface area to maximize its storage.
Researchers from UCF say the main challenge now is to integrate graphene with other materials used in supercapacitors. To do this, the 2D sheets with a thickness of just a few atoms were wrapped around highly conductive nanowires to let electrons pass quickly from the core to the shell. This created a fast charging material with incredibly high power density and a low cost to produce.
The supercapacitor faces many of the hurdles battery developments come into contact with in a world filled with tech sales relying on a standardized product but not many can deny that it’s worth looking into. If commercialized, these cells would allow for longer range electric vehicles with shorter charge times and vastly longer battery lives.