Graphene Super Caps: Coming Soon?

If you read Hackaday regularly, you’ve probably heard that you can use a LASER to create graphene. There’s been a bit of research on how to make practical graphene supercapacitors using the technique (known as LIG or LASER-induced graphene). Researchers at Rice University have been working on this, and apparently they’ve had significant success inducing graphene capacitors on a Kapton substrate. The team has published a paper in Advanced Materials (which is behind a paywall) about their work.

In particular, Rice claims that they have easily produced supercapacitors with an energy density of 3.2 mW/cubic centimeter (that’s what the University’s website reports; they probably mean mW-hours/cubic centimeter) with capacitances near one millifarad per square centimeter. A key benefit of the construction method is that the capacitors continued to work after researchers bent them 10,000 times. A flexible capacitor is useful in wearable devices that would often flex, or in a device like a cell phone that could bend in your back pocket as you sit.

While it is easy to grow graphene with a LASER (we’ve even seen it done with a DVD burner more than once), the interesting part of the Rice team’s research seems to be their use of electrodeposition of manganese dioxide, ferric oxyhydroxide, or polyaniline to create composite positive and negative electrodes. You can see a short video about the new technique below (and that’s certainly not a DVD burner).

Thanks [lethal popcorn] for the tip.

29 thoughts on “Graphene Super Caps: Coming Soon?

  1. +1 for Universal Laser Systems – My employer!

    I worked a bit with these guys on this project since it was such a special use case. They are really doing some cool stuff and, before anyone mentions otherwise, this thing definitely started as a hack. One of the graduate students noticed a black char on Kapton when using a CO2 laser and was like “What is this stuff?” Turned out it was graphene! Since then they have done quite a bit of refining and are making strides in all sorts of ways.

  2. The best advice a professor has given me so far is to always check units with dimensional analysis and see if they work out. Instant check whether someone knows what they’re writing about. Helps a ton on multiple choice tests too.

  3. Of course, ‘laser’ is an acronym, but I think it’s become a standard word in our lexicon, so capitalizing it comes across quite humorously as shouting. Not complaining, just commenting. =)

    1. Yah he sold out to edison labs, I know the chemistry to his latest EESD B type, just tweaking it now before I release open source… 5000 F-g

      The worst part about it is this guy acts like he came up with it but it was reported in literature in april.

    1. The tiny size of that wall outlet tells me that it has similar wattage as similar sized chargers. The amount of energy stored in the cap for 5 minute charge is going to be around the same amount store in the regular battery bank that has been charged for 5 minutes. I am already generous that I assume you can get the energy store in the cap with a boost converter efficiently. (See the discharge graph I posted earlier)

      I bought a some what reasonable $15 battery bank. I think I can buy a few to cycle around so that I’ll always have backup power and still come out cheaper.

      1. “Also we had to develop a new type of power supply because to get enough power into the charger in a few minutes wouldn’t work with existing power supplies.”

        It’s a long shot but perhaps they really did improve the efficiency enough to do it in a small volume without a huge heatsink.

        1. No just power supplies, can you imagine how you need to change power grid to accommodate high spikes of volt/amper bursts when such devices become common and everyone starts to charge?

  4. If I have the possibility I would love to try to create a multi layer 3D component. Something like a multi electrodes (and multi layer) geometric structure, exactly like multi cells batteries that you see one but inside are may in series. I mean, graphene seems to be special due to his atomic structure and then its effect on electrons, I would love to see if a similar concept could be forced in another kind of device. Well that’s Sci-Fi I guess, does exist this degree of sub atomic engineering?Nano tech?
    Anyway, to do what if it’s the same of serial cell connection, one may say… Well, I would not limit to serial connection and I would see if will be generated electromagnetic patterns or some other strange / unusual behavior.

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