As the ubiquity of mobile devices like tablets and cell phones continues to increase globally, the demand for better, longer-lasting batteries has also risen. With devices getting smaller and smaller, it’s become more of a challenge for engineers to continue shrinking down the size of the battery without sacrificing energy storage.
Supercapacitors, which are efficient and have a high power density, are being looked at as a potential solution. A team of researchers from the Integrated Nano Systems Lab in the Centre for Clean Energy Technology has been eyeing ways to improve supercapacitors’ ability to store energy.
Regular supercapacitors use liquid electrolytes that only function at a certain minimum size and tend to leak. Researchers instead have been looking at gel- and solid state-based alternatives, which when combined with materials like graphene and carbon nanotubes, enhances their performance without the drawbacks of liquid electrolytes.
“This approach offers a new path to develop further miniaturized on-chip energy storage systems, which are compatible with silicon electronics and can support the power demand to operate integrated smart systems,” says Professor Francesca Iacopi.