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Teen's supercapacitor tech promises to charge phones in 20 seconds

updated 03:47 pm EDT, Mon May 20, 2013

Capacitors supports 10k recharge cycles

An 18-year-old student, Eesha Khare, has reportedly developed a new form of energy storage, referred to as a supercapacitor, that promises to recharge a cellphone in 20 to 30 seconds. The research project landed Khare a $50,000 scholarship and an Intel Foundation Young Scientists Award at the Intel-sponsored International Science and Engineering Fair, along with a $5,000 "best of category" award and another $3,000 prize in the chemistry division.

The solid-state supercapacitor is said to be composed of hydrogenated TiO2-polyaniline nanorods, which are claimed to support up to 10,000 recharge cycles, according to a SlashGear report. The prototype device is small enough to fit inside a cellphone, though Khare's tests were limited to illuminating an LED.

Supercapacitors have been considered for a wide range of applications, including electric vehicles. UCLA scientists recently found a way to utilize graphene to create supercapacitors, claiming such technology "does away with" the disadvantages of both batteries and traditional capacitors.

The California teen reportedly plans to continue her energy-storage research, and she expects the $50,000 to help with Harvard tuition. She is said to have been contacted by Google, though she declined to provide more details on any talks with the search giant.

by MacNN Staff



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