Microsupercapacitors Make Wearable Electronics Disappear
Remember the days of those bulky sensors or battery packs you once wore on your person, perhaps in inconvenient pockets, that were sometimes washed by accident? You thought you were on the cutting edge, didn't you? Well, those days are thankfully gone thanks to microsupercapacitors!
(Wearable wires (credit: Tao Chen, Liming Dai/Energy Storage Materials))
But taking that next step in wearable technology means ditching bulky, clothes-deforming batteries. Supercapacitors (see “Flexible 3D graphene supercapacitors may power portables and wearables“), as discussed on KurzweilAI, are a perfect match for that. They work like tiny batteries, but unlike batteries, they can be rapidly charged and deliver more power quickly in a smaller space.
Enter Case Western Reserve University researchers, who announced Wednesday that have developed flexible wire-shaped microsupercapacitors that can be embedded as microscopic-sized wires directly in fabrics. These provide three times higher capacitance than previous attempts to create microsupercapacitors, the researchers say.*
In this new design, the modified titanium wire is coated with a solid electrolyte made of polyvinyl alcohol and phosphoric acid. The wire is then wrapped with either yarn or a sheet made of aligned carbon nanotubes, which serves as the second electrode.
The titanium oxide nanotubes, which are semiconducting, separate the two active portions of the electrodes, preventing a short circuit.
“They’re very flexible, so they can be integrated into fabric or textile materials,” said Liming Dai, the Kent Hale Smith Professor of Macromolecular Science and Engineering. “They can be a wearable, flexible power source for wearable electronics and also for self-powered biosensors or other biomedical devices, particularly for applications inside the body.”
(Parenthetically, I'm thrilled that engineers still want to use phrases like "microsupercapacitors" because it reminds me of the youthful Golden Age of science fiction. Words like chronovitameter, ultra-microrobot, ultra-communicator, electrotelescope, telespectroscope, thermelectrium, electric-space-strain projector, infra-infra-infra fluorescence, time-telespectroscope, argento-platinoid, gravito-statoscope, meteorometer and hypnobioscope. Now, those are words to conjure with!)
SF fans of course recall the sleeve communicator from Murray Leinster's 1945 classic First Contact:
"That," said the skipper savagely, "is just what's happening now. There's something like a locator beam on us...
He pressed the button in his sleeve communicator and snapped:
"Action stations! Man all weapons! Condition of extreme alert in all departments immediately!"
Fans of sf writer Rudy Rucker may congratulate him on predicting the microsupercapacitor equipped shirt:
Della's first present was an imipolex sweatshirt called a heartshirt…The heartshirt was an even dark blue, except for a few staticky red spots drifting about.
"It can feel your heartbeat … look..."
(Read more about Rudy Rucker's cool heartshirt from Wetware )
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/10/2015)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Fabric Automatically Cools Or Insulates Based On Environment
'...a high-efficiency filter and heat-exchange system.' - Frank Herbert, 1965.
Foldimate Folds Your Clothes Perfectly
Look ma, my room is clean! I can hear you now.
'Power Clothing' - The Seismic 'Super Suit'
'The real genius in the design is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it...' - Robert Heinlein, 1959.
Shiftwear Display Shoes
'He unlaced her shoe and glanced at its readout.' Bruce Sterling, 1988.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Datagrid Model Generation Perfect For Eternal Cities Of Science Fiction
'... there was enough flexibility to allow for wide variation.
Kazahk Ironist Protester Arrested For Blank Sign Protest
'...a man carried a white rectangular sign, blank on both sides.'
Bitcoin Surges Again, To $7,000
'... electronic, private cash, unbacked by any government, untraceable, completely anonymous.'
China Develops Taste Testing Robots
'Install taste buds in the end of one tentacle...'
North Sea Stone Age Reconstruction And Philip K Dick
'Your Dip digs back into antiquity. Rome. Greece. Dust and old volumes.'
Tesla Robotaxis Will Automatically Recharge Themselves
'Then it appeared to make up its mind, and trundled over to a wall socket...'
New Lifelike Material Powered By Artificial Metabolism
'... The biological robots were not living creatures.'
Husqvarna Automower 435X AWD
'Gramp Stevens sat in a lawn chair, watching the mower at work...'
Elon Musk Foretells Tesla Sans Steering Wheel
'How about the steering wheel... I don't need one.'
Adversarial Patches Trick Computer Vision
'The surveillance cameras can all see it, but then they forget they’ve seen it.'
Amazon Warehouse Computer Can Fire People Now
'The system has already fired five people...'
BrainEx Restores Some Activity To Severed Pig Head
'... they placed the brain in a special solution, having all the properties of Nursing the brain cells.'
Yes, But Do Astrobees Have Lasers For Lightsaber Training?
'... Ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.'
'Young Razorbacks Before Their Katanas Grow In'
'Twin robotic arms with gleaming three-foot sword blades unfolded from the forward hydraulic assemblies...'
A New Way To Run Into Things
'He made an adjustment, pointed the tube at the wall beside Etzwane, and projected a cone of light.'
'Metallic Wood' Strong Like Titanium, Floats In Water
'A metal... light as cork and stronger than steel...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories