Scientists at the University of Central Florida (UCF) have created an experimental supercapacitor battery that works like new even after 30,000 recharges. This research work will create a high-capacity, fast-charging battery that will last 20 times longer than conventional lithium-ion cells. “You can charge your mobile phone in just a few seconds, and this charge will last for a week of phone operation,” says UCF researcher Nitin Chaudhary.
Supercapacitors charge very quickly because they statically accumulate electricity on the surface of the material, and not through chemical reactions like in batteries. This requires sheets of "two-dimensional" materials with large surface areas that can hold a large number of electrons. In research and development, graphene is mainly used as a two-dimensional material.
However, according to scientists at UCF, integrating graphene with other materials used in supercapacitors is quite difficult. So they used 2D metallic materials (TMDs) just a few atoms thick to wrap a highly conductive 1D nanowire, allowing electrons to quickly travel from core to shell. This makes it possible to produce in a fairly simple way a fast-charging material with high energy consumption and high power density. “We have developed a simple chemical synthesis process that integrates well with existing materials with 2D materials,” says researcher Jung.
The development is at an early stage, and therefore it is too early to talk about the industrial implementation of the technology, but the prospects look promising. “Our design outperforms materials used in small electronic devices today in terms of energy density, power density and cyclic stability,” said Chaudhary.
Jung calls this research an experimental test of the concept, and the team is now about to patent their invention. When establishing mass production, it will be possible to use new (non-explosive) batteries with a long service life in mobile devices, which will be charged in a matter of seconds.