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Published on Mar 16, 2012
Imagine having an energy storage device that stores as much energy as a conventional battery, yet, can be charged 100 to 1000 times faster. Supercapacitors store charge in electrochemical double layers whereas batteries store charge through electrochemical reactions. Although supercapacitors can charge and discharge much faster than batteries, they are still limited by low energy densities and slow rate capabilities. Researchers at UCLA have successfully used an inexpensive precursor (graphite oxide) to produce high-performance graphene-based supercapacitors using a computerized LightScribe DVD drive. These devices exhibit ultrahigh energy density values in different electrolytes approaching those of batteries, yet they can be charged in seconds. The devices can be charged and discharged for more than 10,000 cycles without losing much in performance compared with a normal life-time of less than 1000 cycles typical for batteries. Additionally, the devices are completely flexible and maintain excellent performance under high mechanical stress.