Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists create tiny bendy power supply for even smaller portable electronics

08.08.2013
Scientists have created a powerful micro-supercapacitor, just nanometres thick, that could help electronics companies develop mobile phones and cameras that are smaller, lighter and thinner than ever before.

The tiny power supply measures less than half a centimetre across and is made from a flexible material, opening up the possibility for wearable electronics.

The research is published in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Energy & Environmental Science.

A bottleneck in making portable electronic devices like mobile phones even smaller is reducing the size and increasing the flexibility of the power supplies in electronic circuits. Supercapacitors are attractive power supplies because they can store almost as much energy as a battery, with the advantage of high-speed energy discharge. Supercapacitor electrodes are normally made from carbon or conducting polymers, but these can be relatively costly.

A team led by Professor Oliver G Schmidt at the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research in Dresden (IFW-Dresden) examined the use of manganese dioxide as an alternative electrode material, which is more environmentally friendly and less expensive than the standard materials. Manganese dioxide is not a natural choice for an electrode material because it isn't very electrically conductive, nor is it naturally flexible or strong. However, the scientists overcame this by vaporising the manganese dioxide using an electron beam and then allowing the gaseous atoms to precipitate into thin, bendy films. They incorporated very thin layers of gold into the films to improve the electrical conductivity of the material.

Tests on the new micro-supercapacitor showed that the tiny, bendy power supply can store more energy and provide more power per unit volume than state-of-the-art supercapacitors.

Dr Chenglin Yan, leader of the research group at IFW-Dresden, said: "Supercapacitors, as a new class of energy device, can store high energy and provide high power, bridging the gap between rechargeable batteries and conventional capacitors. So we thought a micro-supercapacitor would be an important development in the rapid advance of portable consumer electronics, which need small lightweight, flexible micro-scale power sources.

"The device could be applied to many miniaturised technologies, including implantable medical devices and active radio frequency identification (RFID) tags for self-powered miniaturised devices."

The next step in the team's research is finding a cheaper alternative to gold to improve the conductivity of the micro-supercapacitor.

Dr Yan said: "The major challenge we had to overcome in developing this technology was to obtain really high energy density on the micro-scale, at a low cost. The inclusion of gold in our micro-supercapacitor makes it more expensive, so we are now looking at replacing gold with cheaper metals, such as manganese, to make the device more practical for the market."

The article 'On chip, all sold-state and flexible microsupercapacitors with high performance based on MnOx/Au multilayers' can be downloaded here: http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlepdf/2013/ee/c3ee41286e

More information:

Victoria Steven
Royal Society of Chemistry
0207 440 3322
07774328390
The Royal Society of Chemistry is the leading society and professional body for chemical scientists. Supported by a network of over 48,000 members worldwide and an internationally acclaimed publishing business, our activities span education and training, conferences and science policy, and the promotion of the chemical sciences to the public. Our headquarters are in London and Cambridge, with international offices in the USA, China, Japan, India and Brazil.

Victoria Steven | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.rsc.org

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Did you know that the wrapping of Easter eggs benefits from specialty light sources?
13.04.2017 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH

nachricht To e-, or not to e-, the question for the exotic 'Si-III' phase of silicon
05.04.2017 | Carnegie Institution for Science

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>