Monday, September 22, 2008

Carbon Nanotube Supercapacitors May Replace Clunky Car Batteries

The cover photo from Synthetic Metals  shows a scanning electron microscope image of a single-walled carbon nanotube sheet consisting of randomly entangled bundles of carbon nanotubes. Image: University of Texas at Dallas
(Source Gizmodo)
Carbon nanotubes are one of the surprising new carbon supermaterials,
and it looks like their application in supercapacitors may have a role
in replacing clunky old car battery tech. Scientists at the University
of Texas at Dallas have invented a technique to make supercapacitor
"paper" made from randomly tangled carbon nanotubes embedded in a
polymer. Both chemical batteries and capacitors store electrical
charge, in differing ways, but nanotech supercapacitors could store
more energy in a smaller space, without the dangers associated with
chemical systems. Potentially excellent news given the rise of the
hybrid car. Better yet the new technique is "easily scalable for device
fabrication on an industrial scale," so it might end up in real
products sooner rather than later. [Physorg]

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