Alejandro Freixes
Mar 15, 2012

Researchers develop graphene supercapacitor that holds promise for portable electronics

Electrochemical capacitors (ECs), also known as supercapacitors or ultracapacitors, differ from regular capacitors that you would find in your TV or computer in that they store sustantially higher amounts of charges. They have garnered attention as energy storage devices as they charge and discharge faster than batteries, yet they are still limited by low energy densities, only a fraction of the energy density of batteries. An EC that combines the power performance of capacitors with the high energy density of batteries would represent a significant advance in energy storage technology. Now researchers at UCLA have used a standard LightScribe DVD optical drive to produce such electrodes. The electrodes are composed of an expanded network of graphene -- a one-atom-thick layer of graphitic carbon -- that shows excellent mechanical and electrical properties as well as exceptionally high surface area.