Researchers at Rice University developed a thin and flexible film made out of nanoporous nickel-fluoride electrodes that, according to its creators, combines the best qualities of batteries and supercapacitators. The film, called electrochemical capacitator, packs high electrical storage capacity even if it is only one-hundredth of an inch thick.
This technology could be scaled to all types of devices and its capacity can be increased by adding layers or increasing its size. It represents a step forward in the search for parts that can be used in flexible, wearable devices.
According to a news release the flexible device held 76 percent of its capacity over 10,000 charge-discharge cycles and 1,000 bending cycles.
“Compared with a lithium-ion device, the structure is quite simple and safe,” said postdoctoral researchers Yang Yang in the news release. “It behaves like a battery but the structure is that of a supercapacitor. If we use it as a supercapacitor, we can charge quickly at a high current rate and discharge it in a very short time. But for other applications, we find we can set it up to charge more slowly and to discharge slowly like a battery.”