Wearable Electronic science – printed power

wearable_power.jpgWearable power, a highly researched topic for wearable electronics and many other application field got another faced: supercapacitors made up of a gel electrolyte sandwiched between two carbon-nanotube electrodes, could be created by using existing ink-jet printing methods.

Capacitors and batteries both store electrical energy with the difference that capacitors provide rapid bursts of power discharge compared with a slower discharge of batteries.

Batteries have the advantage to store higher volume of electrical power. Both, capacitors and batteries are often used together in electronic devices where high discharge is needed some times and larger power volume is highly desired.

Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, and at Stanford University working on new capacitors made by spraying carbon nanotubes onto two pieces of plastic, then sandwiching a gel electrolyte in between them.

When a voltage is applied to the electrolyte gel, charges collect on the surfaces of the nanotubes and storing the electrical energy.

The group is now working to improve the energy density of the super capacitors in the hope of eliminating the need for batteries – I guess at least in some applications.

“We are currently working on capacitors with significantly higher energy density while preserving the power capability,” says  says George Grüner, a professor of physics at UCLA, who led the research with Yi Cui, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford.

Another highly promising method that could finally solve the problem of having, big, boxy blocks in our pockets for our power hungry, electronic life enhancers.

[via: Technology Review]

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