A candy-cane shaped supercapacitor has been developed by a research team that can facilitate rapid charging of smart clothes, implantable devices, and mobile phones. A team at the University of Cambridge and the Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) developed an approach to interlace nanostructures within a bulk matter, attaining the advantages of conventional nanostructuring without the use of intricate synthesis techniques or forgoing toughness of the material. The prototyped polymer electrode that seems similar to a candy cane usually draped on a Christmas tree attains energy storage about to the theoretical maximum, but also displays resilience and flexibility to discharge/charge cycling, according to the researchers.
The technique can be implemented to several sorts of objects for supercapacitors or devices used for energy storage, implantable devices, and smart clothes, said the researchers. Pseudocapacitance is a characteristic of polymer and compound supercapacitors that enables ions to go within the material and hence, assemble much more charge compared to carbon ones, which typically capture the charge in the form of concentrated ions close to the surface. The issue with polymer supercapacitors, nonetheless, is that the ions essential for these chemical effects can only enter the top few nanometers underneath the material surface, making the remaining electrode as deadweight.
The researchers said, developing polymers as nanostructures is an approach to increase the quantity of available material close to the surface, but can be costly, difficult to scale-up, and mostly results in pitiable mechanical stability. The team, however, have discovered a means to intertwine nanostructures within a bulk material, thus attaining the advantages of conventional nanostructuring with no use of composite synthesis techniques or forging material toughness.
Stoyan Smoukov said, “Our supercapacitors can accumulate a lot of charge very rapidly, as the conductive polymer (thin active material) is always in association with a 2nd polymer that holds ions, similar to the red thin areas of a candy cane are close to the white areas. This interweaving structure allows the material to twist more effortlessly, as well as shrink & swell without cracking, resulting in greater longevity.”
Isn’t it a great step forward by the researchers? What is your opinion regarding the same?