Batteries have always been one of the biggest challenges in designing small and lightweight gadgets. They are quite bulky and take up a significant part of the volume of smartphones or tablets. But imagine that the batteries can be removed and replaced with internal wiring that can store energy inside the wire itself. This is precisely the goal set by a team of researchers from the University of Central Florida in Orlando.
Professor Jayan Thomas and Dr. Zenan Yu have developed a method of covering copper wires with a special sheath made from an alloy of whisker nanocrystals. This shell becomes one of the two electrodes required to create a supercapacitor. A second tube with nanocrystals is added through the plastic substrate and the capacitor is ready. The inner copper wire still conducts electricity, while the outer jacket can store energy.
This method of storing energy can be used in absolutely any electrical device, especially in those where there is little free space. But, despite the indisputable advantages, this method also has a serious drawback. If a conventional battery fails and no longer holds a charge, it is very easy to replace it. Replacing all the wiring in the device will be much more difficult. Most likely, scientists understand this and will work to increase the service life of such wires.