Activated Graphene Makes Superior Supercapacitors for Energy Storage

New material combines high storage capacity with quick energy release and unlimited recharge

Story content courtesy of Brookhaven National Laboratory, US

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have helped to uncover the nanoscale structure of a novel form of carbon, contributing to an explanation of why this new material acts like a super-absorbent sponge when it comes to soaking up electric charge.

The material, which was recently created at The University of Texas - Austin, can be incorporated into "supercapacitor" energy-storage devices with remarkably high storage capacity while retaining other attractive attributes such as superfast energy release, quick recharge time, and a lifetime of at least 10,000 charge/discharge cycles.

"Those properties make this new form of carbon particularly attractive for meeting electrical energy storage needs that also require a quick release of energy - for instance, in electric vehicles or to smooth out power availability from intermittent energy sources, such as wind and solar power," said Brookhaven materials scientist Eric Stach, a co-author on a paper describing the material.

The work at Brookhaven was supported by DOE's Office of Science; the UT - Austin team's research was supported by the Office of Science, the National Science Foundation, and the Advanced Technology Institute.

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