Feeds

Superpowered energy-storing wonder stuff created in lab

Future exploding laptop battery = nuclear bomb going off

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

US-based boffins say they have created a never-seen-before type of ultra-bizarre stuff in the lab by using incredible pressures similar to those found deep inside planets. The scientists believe that their creation is capable of storing an unfeasible amount of energy.

"It is the most condensed form of energy storage outside of nuclear energy," says Choong-Shik Yoo, chemistry prof at Washington State uni.

Yoo and his colleagues created "novel two- and three-dimensional extended non-molecular phases" of xenon difluoride (XeF2) by squashing their samples incredibly viciously. This was done using two small "anvils" made of diamond, rammed together by powerful machinery.

The diamond anvil moleculo-juicer rig was eventually cranked to 100 Giga-Pascals and beyond - more than a million times ordinary atmospheric pressure - the style of pressure one would be under halfway to the Earth's core.

The large amounts of energy used in the squashage were "stored as chemical energy in the molecules' bonds", according to the scientists. A statement issued by Washington State says:

Possible future applications include creating a new class of energetic materials or fuels, an energy storage device, super-oxidizing materials for destroying chemical and biological agents, and high-temperature superconductors.

It sounds as though one might be talking here not so much about a new class of super-powered batteries as something more akin to rocket fuel or explosives (although of course any sufficiently good energy storage method has the potential to be a bomb or at least a fire hazard if things go wrong, as we know well from li-ion gadget batteries).

Perhaps the space ships of tomorrow will lift easily into orbit without the need for troublesome, expensive disposable boosters, powered by super-energetic ultrapressure explodo wonder-fuel. Certainly the comedy iPod trouser disasters of tomorrow seem likely to be worth watching out for - possibly of mushroom-cloud magnitude, from what professor Yoo suggests.

Subscribers to Nature Chemistry can read all about it here. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
OK Google, do I have CANCER?
Company talks up pill that would spot developing tumors
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.