We’ve said it before and we will say it again: graphene is here to stay. This time researchers of the Monash University Department of Materials Engineering seem to have lived up to one of graphene’s long due promises: an extremely fast charging battery. And all they had to do was add some water to the mix.
In some instances the potential of graphene has already proven to be more readily attainable by combining it with other materials like molybdenum. One of the obstacles that have been troubling researchers is the stacking of several graphene sheets, thus creating usable macrostructures. When stacked, the separate graphene sheets immediately bond together, reforming into graphite and losing its’ remarkable properties.
Stacking graphene sheets
But now, the Monash University’s research team has found a way to stack separate graphene sheets ‘simply’ by adding water. The water provides repulsive forces between the sheets and prevents re-stacking. This moist graphene or graphene gel retains all of graphene’s properties and makes it usable for creating macrostructures.
More efficient and cheaper
This development brings the creation of an energy storage system within arm’s reach that is as effective as lithium ion batteries but can be recharged in seconds and has an almost indefinite lifespan. And what is even better is that it is made of two readily available materials. So with graphene production getting easier and cheaper by the day, the super batteries might not only be more efficient, but also cheaper, in production anyway.
The battery will not only open up ways for the development of consumer products like mobile phones or electric cars, but is also invaluable for the future viability of electricity from renewable resources.
© Jorn van Dooren | www.bitsofscience.org