Feeds

Boffins hide supercapacitors on silicon chips

We don't need no STEEENKING BATTERIES

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Scientists at Vanderbilt University have created a silicon-based supercapacitor they say could scale all the way from grid-level storage down to consumer electronics.

The reason they're trumpeting it as a breakthrough is that silicon, while abundant and with well-established fabrication techniques, doesn't work well in capacitors (or as the authors describe it in their paper, available in full at Nature, “double-layer charge storage”). Its highly reactive nature makes it much better as an anode in a metal-ion battery, they write; in supercapacitors “it reacts readily with some of chemicals in the electrolytes that provide the ions that store the electrical charge”.

As noted in this university press release: “Instead of storing energy in chemical reactions the way batteries do, “supercaps” store electricity by assembling ions on the surface of a porous material. As a result, they tend to charge and discharge in minutes, instead of hours, and operate for a few million cycles, instead of a few thousand cycles like batteries”.

To do this in silicon, the researchers used porous silicon, created by etching the surface of a silicon wafer. To combat the reactivity of the silicon, they then coated the surface with carbon, baked at between 600 and 700°C. The result was a graphene surface coating created at far lower than the 1400°C-plus temperatures used to create graphene.

Supercap power density

Graphene coating creates high-capacity supercap. Image: Cary Pint, Vanderbilt University

The graphene coating both stabilised the surface of the silicon, and allowed them to construct a supercapacitor with energy densities “over two orders of magnitude” better than uncoated porous silicon, “and significantly better than commercial supercapacitors.”

Research leader Cary Pint believes the approach could allow unused silicon on wafers to become the power source for devices like mobile phones. At a larger scale, supercapacitors could be built onto the back of solar cells, again using otherwise-unused silicon. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft – A jolly little war for lunchtime
Free-to-play WoW turn-based game when you have 20 minutes to kill
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.