Scientists at UCLA have put a Lightscribe DVD optical drive to work in their graphene research, and have used them to produce a graphene-based electrochemical supercapcitor that could make itself very useful in a world ever more dependent on battery power.
In a paper published in the March 16 edition of the journal Science, the researchers explain that electrochemical capacitors have attracted a lot of interest because they can be charged and discharged much faster than traditional batteries. The problem is that so far, they have low energy density, so although the power goes in and out quickly, there isn’t much of it.
Using the Lightscribe DVD drive and a helping of graphene, the researchers have produced an electrode that could solve this problem.
The researchers coated a DVD disc with a film of graphite oxide that is then laser treated inside a LightScribe DVD drive to produce graphene electrodes.
From the University’s press release":
Here, devices made with Laser Scribed Graphene (LSG) electrodes exhibit ultrahigh energy density values in different electrolytes while maintaining the high power density and excellent cycle stability of ECs. Moreover, these ECs maintain excellent electrochemical attributes under high mechanical stress and thus hold promise for high power, flexible electronics.
"Our study demonstrates that our new graphene-based supercapacitors store as much charge as conventional batteries, but can be charged and discharged a hundred to a thousand times faster," said Richard B. Kaner, professor of chemistry & materials science and engineering.