Researchers at RMIT University developed a new type of electrode that has the potential to not only boost the capacity of existing energy storage technologies by about 3000%, but it also opens the possibility of developing flexible, thin-film, all-in-one solar capture and storage. This means it can be applied to and make self-powering smart phones, cars, laptops and buildings.
The new electrode has been inspired by a plant and is designed to work with supercapacitors that can charge and discharge power much faster than conventional batteries. Supercapacitors have been combined with solar, but the wider use as a storage solution is restricted due to the limited capacity.
RMIT University’s Professor Min Gu said the new design drew on nature’s own genius solution to the challenge of filling a space in the most efficient way as possible – through intricate and self-repeating patterns known as fractals.