Feeds

Stretchy capacitive sheaths coming to protect your pay-by-bonk mobe

The race to weave elastic superconductive fibres has begun

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Researchers in the USA and China are vying for the honour of being first off the block with a fibre-shaped supercapacitor built from carbon nanotubes.

Over at Wiley, China is touting a stretchable nanotube-based supercapacitor, while a spookily similar-sounding structure was also boasted by the University of Delaware at the start of November.

If you can make it small enough, the fibre-based supercapacitor would be hugely useful for proponents of wearable electronics, since it's both stretchable and flexible – just perfect to be slotted into the weave of garments.

The UD development “a Spandex fiber as the substrate, a polyvinyl alcohol-sulfuric acid gel as the solid electrolyte, and carbon nanotube (CNT) fibers as the active electrodes.”

Which sounds rather like the work led by Huisheng Peng at Fudan University. It uses an unspecified elastic fibre as the core of the supercapacitor. The capacitor is then built out of a layer of electrolyte gel, a layer of carbon nanotubes, a second gel layer, a “wrap” of nanotubes, and a final gel layer.

Strech your supercap

China's stretchable supercapacitor - regrettably without a scale

Neither innovation is quite ready to be made into protective sheath, but both research groups say that previous stretchable supercapacitors have been in planar structures, which aren't so useful for the wearable market.

Previous fibre-based capacitors have been flexible but not stretchable, the Chinese researchers claim in this media http://www.nanowerk.com/nanotechnology_news/newsid=33402.php release over at Nanowerk. The Chinese researchers envisage their nanotube capacitors as being most useful to provide power for SRAM in wearable electronics (rather than being a primary power source).

The University of Delaware group claims its supercapacitor is good for 10,000 charge/discharge cycles under “100 per cent” tensile strain. ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets
Just being in the Goldilocks zone doesn't mean there'll be anyone to eat the porridge
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.