Storing much more charge than standard capacitors, supercapacitors are used in batteries for consumer electronics. Now researchers at the National University of Singapore have devised a simple membrane-based supercapacitor that they say will be easier to scale up than the current alternatives.
Xian Ning Xie and his colleagues used a polystyrene-based polymer to deposit a soft, foldable membrane that, when sandwiched between and charged by two metal plates, could store charge at 0.2 farads per square centimetre. This is well above the typical upper limit of 1 microfarad per square centimetre for a standard capacitor. The authors tested membranes up to 9 square centimetres in size and found that their charge storage increased linearly with size.
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Supersizing a supercapacitor. Nature 477, 9 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1038/477009c