Apr 29, 2017 12:39 PM EDT
Scientists at North Carolina State University discover a way to prevent energy shortage in the future. Through the use of a material that incorporates thin layers of water, people could now store and deliver energy quicker than before. This finding raises interesting questions about the behavior of liquids when confined.
According to Science Daily, James Mitchell, a PhD student at the North Carolina State University said that the goal for almost every energy-storage study is to come up with technologies that have the "high energy" density of batteries and the "high power" of capacitors. For this particular work, the experts compared two materials: a crystalline tungsten oxide and a layered crystalline tungsten oxide hydrate. Mitchell is the lead author of the study.
The latter material, the tungsten oxide hydrate, consists of parts separated by automatically thin layers of water. When charging the two materials for a period of 10 minutes, the experts found that the regular tungsten oxide stored more energy than the hydrate. However, when the charging period was shortened to only 12 seconds, the result was the other way around.
Well, per Phys.org, one of the intriguing findings of the researchers is that the hydrate stored energy more "efficiently". It means that the material wasted less energy as heat. For her part, Veronica Augustyn, an assistant professor at North Carolina State and a co-author of the research, said that combining these solvent layers may be a "new strategy" for "high-powered-energy-storage" devices.
To summarize, the experts think that the water layer acts as a pathway that directs the transfer of ions through the material. For the record, they believe that they are already moving forward with the national Science Foundation-funded research on how to fine-tune this "interlayer". If it becomes successful humans will go one level higher in the journey towards energy-storage.
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