Local scientists have developed a power source that can be easily stretched and bent, which could one day replace batteries to power wearable devices such as smartwatches, heart trackers or smart glasses.
The supercapacitor took two years to develop by a team of researchers at nanyang technological university.Unlike other ultracapacitors on the market, the new capacitors are like fabrics that can be easily stretched and bent or tailored to different needs, without affecting the power supply.
Existing capacitors can only be made with fixed designs and structures and are difficult to match with other electronic devices.
The new capacitors are made from a source of reinforced manganese dioxide nanowire composites, which contain carbon nanotubes and nanoscale cellulose fibres, allowing the capacitors to withstand a lot of power generation.
Professor Chen xiaodong, deputy dean of the school of materials science and engineering at ntu, who led the team, pointed out that supercapacitors function like batteries, but the charging process is faster than ordinary batteries.
“Depending on the size of the supercapacitor, the charging time can be as long as seven or eight minutes and as fast as less than a minute,” he said.
The new capacitors are designed to store up to three times as much power as conventional capacitors.Moreover, after 10,000 retractions, the new capacitors can still store 98% of their power.
Dr Lo hyun-chun, head of the soft materials department of the research institute of materials research and engineering, is a member of the research team.
Mr Luo points out that the new capacitors not only perform well, but also “plug and play”.”These flexible power sources can be used in wearable devices and are a new generation of energy storage devices with potential and high scalability.”
According to the team’s experiments, the new capacitors, which are attached to sensors attached to the elbow, provide steady power even when the elbow is constantly shaking, and transmit signals smoothly to wearable devices, including heart rate trackers.
Mr Chen points out that new capacitors can be mass-produced using existing manufacturing technology, costing as little as 1.3 cents a square centimetre to make.
The team has patented the technology and has talked to companies about the possibility of mass production.
According to Chen, the team is trying to use the technology to create a new three-dimensional supercapacitor.He hopes one day to combine flexible new capacitors with sensors for sports or health wear.
Post time: Jun-21-2019