Found a way to transfer and store energy in a light copper wire
Sounds like science fiction, but thanks to technology developed in the research laboratory at the University of Central Florida, this fiction may soon become a reality.
Until recently, electricity could only be transmitted using wires. However, a scientist and professor of nanotechnology, Jan Thomas and his graduate student Zenan Yu invented a way to transfer and store energy in a light copper wire.
Their story was on the cover of the June issue of the journal on materials science "Advanced technology and nature." An entire discussion about technologies in this field has been published.
“A very interesting idea,” said Thomas. “When we first started talking about it, everyone to whom we addressed answered“ Hmm, no one even thought about it. It’s just unique. ”
Copper wire is only the beginning according to Thomas, but with the improvement of technology, special fibers will also be nanostructured and it will be possible to transfer and store energy with their help.
The most rapid changes can be seen in the development of electronic transport, space equipment and portable electronic devices. The ability to store and move energy through a single wire will replace heavy volume batteries. With the ability to reduce electronic devices and the place that was used before for the batteries can be used for other purposes. In cases of launch of launch vehicles, this can significantly reduce their weight, which will also reduce launch costs, says Thomas.
Thomas and his team started with a single copper wire. Then they covered it with a layer of nano-Aes. These antennae were then treated with a special alloy that created the electrode. Enough two electrodes to create powerful energy storage. Therefore, scientists had to come up with a method of making the second electrode.
And they did it. One had only to add the thinnest plastic sheet to the antennae and wrap it around them, using the metal skin (second electrode) after creating nano-aks on it (second electrode and outer cover). The layers were then firmly glued with a special gel.Due to the fact that nanousics are insulated, the inner copper wire retains the ability to conduct current, and the layers around it keep powerful energy by themselves.
In other words, Thomas and his team created a super-capacitor outside the copper wire. Super capacitors are capable of storing powerful energy, such as is needed to start a transport or heavy equipment.
Although a lot of work still lies ahead, Thomas believes that it will be possible to work with other materials on this technology. This can lead to the fact that even ordinary fabric fibers can store enough energy for various tasks. For example, if flexible solar panels and these fibers are joined together to make a jacket, it can be used to charge electrical gadgets and other devices.
“It is exciting,” says Thomas. “We are progressing gradually. I love to come to the laboratory every day and see what's new we can do today. Sometimes something goes wrong, but even these little failures teach us a lot. ”
Zenan Yu is the co-author of the study. He works in the Nano Energy Photomics Group of Thomas.They conduct research focused mainly on nano-structural super-capacitors and Li-ion batteries, nano-built light-trapping solar cells, photo-refracted polymers for displaying 3D applications, and nonlinear optical materials.