The growth and advancement of graphene applications have led to a huge number of new possibilities for storing energy, along with increased charge and discharge rates which can be achieved cheaply. Finally, these graphene uses are not entirely for the electrodes of batteries but are also for the active material present in these. Graphene is known to be a great material for batteries that they end up being called supercapacitors – batteries that hold huge amounts of charge and power in just a few seconds.
Researchers have created a graphene supercapacitor that can stock and collect as much energy per unit mass like batteries made of nickel metal hydride; however, unlike regular batteries, these can be discharged or charged in only a couple of seconds or minutes.
Capacitors are energy storage mediums that are highly similar to electromechanical batteries; while most batteries that can store quite large amounts of energy, they are comparatively ineffective from other energy solutions or answers just like fossil fuels. As for supercapacitors which are more commonly known as the electrochemical capacitors or the electric double-layered capacitors, can store even more charge compared to conventional ones that are available. There is one vital characteristic that these supercapacitors have and that is the extraordinarily narrow gap that is between the electrodes; it only means that great amounts of electrical charges can easily be stored in very little volumes.
However, despite all of the great features of the supercapacitors, these are presently quite costly to produce and also, the salability of the supercapacitors limit application choices since the efficiency of energy is offset opposite to cost efficiency. This has become one of the reasons why a specific paper by the researchers from UCLA has been greatly consulted since they were able to successfully create graphene supercapacitors just by using a DVD writer right on a personal home PC. This idea of developing graphene monolayers by utilizing thermo-lithography is not generally a new one since US-based scientists were able to produce nanowires made of graphene in 2010.
The main component in a graphene supercapacitor is of course, graphene which is a type of carbon that substantially has more relative surface area compared to carbon. As mentioned previously, among the restraints of the ultra-capacitors’ capacitance is the area of its conductors; if one of the conductive materials in these has a greater relative surface compared to the other, the one that has a heightened surface area will be considered better when it comes to storing electrostatic charge. Furthermore, being a material that consists of a single atomic layer makes it lighter compared to others, while an interesting key feature of this is that graphene is basically just graphite in the form of carbon which is eco-friendly unlike other types of energy storages.
And because of the lightweight range that the graphene supercapacitor has and the minimal cost of production is also combined with the elastic properties of graphene, every individual will most likely embrace and see technology, in the next 5 to 10 years, already incorporating the supercapacitors in a variety of gadgets, equipment, and other possible items.