New supercapacitor technology developed through medical research

Engineering

A medical research project has led to the development of a cutting-edge material that could be used to produce next-generation supercapacitors.

Research from the University of Surrey and Augmented Optics, in collaboration with the University of Bristol, has created a polymer based on large organic molecules composed of repeated subunits that are bonded together to form a three-dimensional network.

“New medical research has validated the potential of groundbreaking supercapacitor technology with a potentially wide range of uses.“

The material was originally produced using the same principles underpinning soft contact lenses and was intended to facilitate an ion electron interface for prosthetic limbs. However, its considerable capacitance means its true applications could be much broader.

For example, it could be used as the basis of power sources for portable devices that can be recharged in only a few seconds, or for electric vehicles that can travel for much greater distances before requiring a fresh source of power.

Industries such as transport, aerospace, energy generation, consumer technology and biosensors could all be affected by this discovery.

Dr Brendan Howlin of the University of Surrey said: "There is a global search for new energy storage technology and this new ultra-capacity supercapacitor has the potential to open the door to unimaginably exciting developments."

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