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IPFS News Link • Energy

Nanocable for Energy Storage

More and more the world is looking to capacitors to replace batteries. The reasons for wanting such a change include faster charging times and safety precautions, as capacitors do not need dangerous chemicals.

A common method for making graphene is chemical vapor deposition on sheets of copper. When this happens there is the possibility for a layer of copper oxide to form between the copper and the graphene, and numerous graphene studies have noted this, but never looked too carefully at it. The Rice researchers almost did not look at it either, as they were just trying to make copper nanowires coated in carbon. Testing the wires gave some unexpected results because the copper oxide layer was still there. Closer examination showed it was acting as an insulator between the conductive graphene and copper, forming a capacitor. A good capacitor too as it breaks the records for other microcapacitors.

By connecting together millions of these nanocables, it should be possible to create a large-scale energy-storage device. Exactly how much energy such an array could store is hard to say at the moment, especially as quantum mechanics plays a role at the scale of a single nanocable. However, even if it is not able to challenge a conventional battery, it may still be able to transmit radio signals at the nanoscale, similar to the coaxial cables the give our televisions an image.

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Powell Gammill
Entered on:

That is ridiculous.  Capacitors are awesome.  They fully charge in a few seconds compared to hours for batteries.  BUT, they discharge just as fast.  That makes them extremely dangerous if you happen to be on the receiving end of a full discharge.  Most capacitors currently are sensitive to impact as well, so if they figure out a capacitor design that can handle the vibration of being in a vehicle or being dropped then they are improving capacitors but not making the case against batteries.

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