Rice University researchers who pioneered the development of laser-induced graphene have configured their discovery into flexible, solid-state microsupercapacitors that rival the best available for energy storage and delivery.
The devices developed in the lab of Rice chemist James Tour are geared toward electronics and apparel. They are the subject of a new paper in the journal Advanced Materials.
Microsupercapacitors are not batteries, but inch closer to them as the technology improves. Traditional capacitors store energy and release it quickly (as in a camera flash), unlike common lithium-ion batteries that take a long time to charge and release their energy as needed.
Rice’s microsupercapacitors charge 50 times faster than batteries, discharge more slowly than traditional capacitors and match commercial supercapacitors for both the amount of energy stored and power delivered.
The devices are manufactured by burning electrode patterns with a commercial laser into plastic sheets in room-temperature air, eliminating the complex fabrication conditions that have limited the widespread application of microsupercapacitors. The researchers see a path toward cost-effective, roll-to-roll manufacturing.
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