Cotton Super Capacitors
A new conductive cotton fabric able to store energy could help power the new generation of flexible electronics and medical implants.
Xiaodong Li, a mechanical engineering professor at the University of South Carolina, created the highly conductive cotton by soaking a $5 cotton T-shirt in a sodium fluoride solution for an hour and then drying it at two different levels of heat, which changed the cotton to activate carbon. The still-flexible material was then coated with a nano-layer of metal manganese oxide, transforming the fabric to a super capacitor with 97.3 percent retention.
The process is inexpensive and eco-friendly, costing up to 10 times less than processing coal or petroleum into activated carbon.
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[UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA
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