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 [1988])

Via KurzweilAI.

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 |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Clothing ")

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.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

China Deploys Robot Traffic Police
'The robot came up smooth and fast as a rocket...'

Better Than Dune Chromoplastic? This Guy Might Have Done It
'But when Old Father Sun departs, the chromoplastic reverts to transparency in the dark.'

Gather, An AI Warehouse Inventory Drone Startup
'It extended three of its tiny arms sideways to lock onto the registration pins...'

China's Artificial Intelligence-Enhanced Education
'The grey gas not only cut off his vision, but also his other senses...'

Orbital Manufacturer 'Made in Space' Gets $73 Million NASA Contract
'Mass-produced in the orbiting factories...'

Soli Gesture Tech Will Be In Google Pixel 4
'I enjoy watching this way, but - He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'

Uber Eats Pairs Cars With Drones
Fresh grub? Let's hope they aren't delivering grubs.

Space-Based Solar Power Roundup
SF writers popularized and elaborated on this idea a generation before the first patents were filed.

Lost Language Meanings Found By Machine Learning
'The autopilot would need data before it could begin a translation...'

'Aerogel' Sheets For Martian Gardens
'Sealed to the ground along all the sides, Honey, he growled...'

France's 'Red Team' Of Science Fiction Authors
'They're the only experts we have.'

Dim The Sun With Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment
'Those twin volcanoes; d'ye see them, Mr. Renner?'

Mashambas Skyscraper Farm Design Wins
'...a towering eighty-story structure like the office In-and Out baskets stacked up to the sky.'

Self-Driving Tractors From China Plan Ahead
'Machines that seemingly with full consciousness walked out into the fields to do their daily work.'

Jet-Powered Hoverboard Works!
L'audace, l'audace, toujours l'audace!

Nobe 3-Wheel Electric Vehicle Parking Like I, Robot
Spidercar, Spidercar, does whatever a spidercar does.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.