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Electric Vehicles to be Charged 1,000 Times Faster
Supercapacitor Tech
Electric Vehicles to be Charged 1,000 Times Faster
  • By matthew
  • April 18, 2014, 06:00
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A diagram that explains how to make a vertically-aligned electrode film with graphene oxide flakes.
A diagram that explains how to make a vertically-aligned electrode film with graphene oxide flakes.

 

A Korean research team has developed a supercapacitor technology that can charge devices 1000 times faster. Thus, a new graphene supercapacitor is likely to be used in electric cars and other electronic devices as next-gen energy storage equipment.

A research team led by Professor Lee Hyo-young at Sungkyunkwan University and Dr. Yoon Yeo-heung announced on April 16 that they successfully developed a high-performance supercapacitor technology that can drastically increase a charging and discharging speed by vertically aligning graphene oxide flakes.

Supercapacitors are next-gen energy storage equipment, following secondary cells. Due to higher electric outputs than lithium-ion batteries, they are appropriate for electronic equipment that needs a large output of power, such as electric vehicles and wind generators. They generate electricity by absorbing and releasing electrolytes (charging and discharging) from a conductive electrode material. Therefore, the more electrolytes are absorbed into electrodes, the more electricity can flow. 

After making a graphene oxide film using a carbon nanotube, the team made a vertically-structured graphene electrode with high conductivity and density through a cutting and heat treatment. To charge and discharge electricity faster, they also inserted the carbon nanotube into graphene oxide sheets and created pores in a regular pattern between sheets.

As a result, the electrode was able to charge and discharge electricity 1,000 times faster than solid and vertically-structured graphene used in existing supercapacitors. It can also store energy three times more, and the density of the electrode is as twice as high as conventional activated carbon or graphene. 

Professor Lee said, “This technology is expected to be used in small energy storage units, electronic devices, electric vehicles, and next-gen energy storage equipment that requires fast charging.”

The research findings were first published online on April 2 by ACS Nano, a monthly scientific journal published by the American Chemical Society.