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- Jun 26, 2018 -

Lithium-ion batteries are by far the most common and the best option for energy storage technology. But the higher the demand of the energy, the heavier it gets. A team of scientists are trying to turn copper wires onto supercapacitors, and using that technology to power your clothing or device. They have also demonstrated they could also embed it into the body of a car which will boost the energy storage and provide some more space in the car built.

The technology is divided in few stages as follow: the first step is to heat the copper wire to create nano-whiskers, which are nanoscale-sized tendrils of metal that split off from the main wire. A sheath of natural cooper oxide will then protect them which in the end will turn the nano-whisker into electrode. A plastic shell is used to wrap the entire structure with a second set of nano-whiskers. The final result is a structure layered like the image above. The nanoscale structures store additional electricity and the copper wire conducts power.

The category of this type of technology is still undecided as some calls it a type of battery but scientist are referring to it as supercapacitor which make more sense given the technology used. But the notable difference is that battery even though they can store more energy; they cannot release that energy as quickly as supercapacitors. They store less energy but discharge is very quickly, and that makes the poor batteries. The studies are on course for ways to mix both, the batteries and supercapacitors.

Now, scientists are trying to figure out how much energy can be stored in the copper wire and how to recharge the nanostructures without degrading them. With the main intention is to save on weight, we all know copper can be heavier than aluminum and plus there is an extra shielding to be added which can add more weight. But if they manage to embed the technology into surfaces as the study describes, then that will be a big win for commercial use.