Our modern technology is dominated by blocky batteries that really only lend themselves to blocky devices. A great deal of effort is put into working around that limitation, but usually in only one of two ways. Increasing the storage density of batteries means they can be made smaller, and therefore fit more easily into organically shaped devices. They can also be made as thin as possible, which suits the slim slab-like electronics that are so popular today.
That may change soon with a new development in formable supercapacitors from researchers at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University. Supercapacitors, like batteries, store electrical energy. But, they sacrifice storage density in favor of extremely fast charging, and the ability to withstand millions of charge/discharge cycles without any damage.
The team’s design behaves like a standard supercapacitor, electrically speaking. But, unlike the supercapacitors that are so common today, these can be physically “edited” after fabrication. The size and shape of their structure can be changed, and the resulting form can even be twisted and stretched, all without damaging their functionality. The potential of these editable supercapacitors for wearable electronics and medical devices is massive.