Feeds

Superpowered energy-storing wonder stuff created in lab

Future exploding laptop battery = nuclear bomb going off

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
ANU boffins demo 'tractor beam' in water
The current state of the art, apparently
China to test recoverable moon orbiter
I'll have some rocks and a moon cheese pizza please, home delivery
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Vulture 2 spaceplane autopilot brain surgery a total success
LOHAN slips into some sexy bespoke mission parameters
Another step forward for diamond-based quantum computers
Square cut or pear-shaped, these qubits don't lose their shape
LOHAN acquires aircraft arboreal avoidance algorithm acronyms
Is that an ARMADILLO in your PANTS or are you just pleased to see me?
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
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.