Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

T-Shirt Replaces Battery

18.01.2011
Fiber-based electrochemical micro-supercapacitor

Will we soon be plugging our mobile phone into our t-shirt instead of putting in a battery? This vision is not totally out of reach: the first steps in this direction have already been taken.

Now a team led by Zhong Lin Wang at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, USA) and Jong Min Kim of Samsung Electronics in South Korea is introducing a prototype for a flexible energy storage device that can be worked into textiles. As the scientists report in the journal Angewandte Chemie, this supercapacitor is made of a very special arrangement of zinc oxide nanowires grown on conventional fibers.

Although smaller, lighter components are constantly being developed, most devices for energy generation and storage are much too bulky and heavy for increasingly miniaturized electronic devices of the future. Supercapacitors are an interesting alternative to batteries and rechargeable batteries for energy storage. They can be recharged almost endlessly and extremely fast; however, previous examples have not been flexible or light enough.

The research team has now developed a prototype for a high-efficiency fiber-based electrochemical micro-supercapacitor that uses zinc oxide nanowires as electrodes. The substrate for one of the electrode is a flexible, fine plastic wire; for the other electrode it is a fiber made of Kevlar. Kevlar is the material used to make bulletproof vests. The researchers were able to grow zinc oxide nanowires on each of these substrates. Additional coatings with materials like gold and manganese oxide could further improve the charge capacitance. Using tweezers, the researchers then wrapped each of the plastic wires with a Kevlar fiber. This assembly was then embedded in a solid gel electrolyte that separates the two electrodes and allows for the necessary charge transport. A bundle of these fibers could be processed to form a thread.

Zinc oxide has special advantages over conventional supercapacitor materials,: it can be grown on any desired substrate in any form at low temperature (below 100 °C) and it is both biocompatible and environmentally friendly.

A particularly intriguing application would be the use of these new charge-storage media in combination with flexible fiber nanogenerators, which Wang and his team have previously developed. The wearer’s heartbeat and steps, or even a light wind, would be enough to move the piezoelectric zinc oxide nanowires in the fibers, generating electrical current.

In the form of a “power shirt” such a system could deliver enough current for small electronic devices, such as mobile phones or small sensors like those used to warn firemen of toxins.

PS: The concept of an issue is a paradigm of the print world. Nowadays, most readers check the scientific literature for articles published online by using search engines and no longer care about bound issues. Or do they? Wiley-VCH now present yet another innovation in scientific publishing: Browse issues of Angewandte Chemie and a selection of its sister journals on screen as you would in print and broaden your horizons and be inspired by what the search engines do not find for you. On your desktop computer or your mobile device at http://www.wiley-vch.de/util/chem-epaper/

Author: Zhong Lin Wang, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta (USA), http://www.nanoscience.gatech.edu/zlwang/wang.html

Title: Fiber Supercapacitors Made of Nanowire-Fiber Hybrid Structures for Wearable/Flexible Energy Storage

Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Permalink to the article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201006062

Zhong Lin Wang | Angewandte Chemie
Further information:
http://pressroom.angewandte.org
http://www.nanoscience.gatech.edu/zlwang/wang.html

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Colorectal cancer risk factors decrypted
13.07.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung

nachricht Algae Have Land Genes
13.07.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Research finds new molecular structures in boron-based nanoclusters

13.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

Algae Have Land Genes

13.07.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>