Mobile phones that can be charged in a few minutes could be possibility in future all thanks to a radical new battery technology.
Known as 'supercapacitors' , the object, in the form of a wafer, can turn phone casings, car chassis and even walls into quick chargable batteries.
Researchers at Vanderbilt claimed that have created the first working prototypes of the technology.
The small wafer that means you can charge all your devices/ gadgets in seconds: The material can take a full charge in a matter of seconds - and is much more smaller than regular batteriesHOW IT WORKS
The wafers consist of electrodes that are made from silicon that have been chemically treated they posses nanoscale pores on their inner surfaces and then coated with a protective ultrathin graphene-like layer of carbon.
Built in between the two electrodes is a polymer film that acts as a small reservoir of charged ions, similar to the role of the electrolyte in a battery.
When the electrodes are compressed together, the polymer oozes into the little pores in the same way that melted cheese soaks into the nooks and crannies of artisan bread in a panini.
When the polymer cools and solidifies, it usually forms an extremely strong mechanical bond.
'These devices shows that its much possible to make materials that can charge and discharge significant amounts of electricity while they are subject to realistic static loads and dynamic forces, Like vibrations or impacts,' Said one of the researchers.
The new device is a supercapacitor that can save electricity by assembling electrically charged ions at the surface of a porous material, instead of just saving it in chemical reactions the way batteries usually do.
As a result of this, supercaps can charge and discharge in few minutes, instead of just hours, and operate for a million of cycles, instead of thousands of cycles like regular batteries.
'The ability to integrate energy into the components used to build systems, it unleashes the pathway to a whole new world of technological possibilities.
The ability and capability to design technologies at the basis of health, entertainment, travel and social communication will also not be limited by plugs and external power sources,' said Pint one of the researchers .
Supercapacitors has the ability to store ten times less energy than current lithium-ion batteries, and can also last a thousand times longer - meaning they can be inbuilt into walls and other places
'Battery performance metrics usually change when you’re putting energy storage into heavy materials that are already needed for structural integrity,' said Pint.
'Supercapacitors store ten times less energy than current lithium-ion batteries, but they can last a thousand times longer.
'That means they are better suited for structural applications.
'It does not make real sense to develop materials to build a home, car chassis, or aerospace vehicle if you have to change them every few years because they die very quick.'
In a paper shown online May 19 in the journal Nano Letters, Pint and Westover reported that their new structural supercapacitor operates flawlessly in storing and unleashing electrical charge while subject to stresses or pressures up to 44 psi and vibrational accelerations over 80 g (significantly greater than those acting on turbine blades in a jet engine).
The mechanical robustness of the device does not affect its energy storage capability.
'In an unpackaged, structurally integrated state our supercapacitor can store more energy and operate at increased voltages than a packaged, off-the-shelf commercial supercapacitor, while under intense dynamic and static forces,' said Pint