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MIT developed a niobium nanowire super capacitor

Date:2016-09-30 00:00:00 Click:378

The ubiquitous smart watches and fitness bracelet has become a kind of fashion accessories, so many people put it down. But subject to the size of these devices, the battery capacity and standby time are very limited.

Days ago, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Canadian researchers at the The University of British Columbia have developed a flexible super capacitor, may let the situation become history, smart watches and wearable devices to bring a more imagination in the future. Published in the "ACS application materials and interface," the Journal of the relevant papers were bold prediction.

Magical Elements Nb

The core of this method is a kind of with niobium nanowires made of high-performance super capacitor. Supported devices include smart watches, heart rate sensors, computers and smart phones, etc.. In addition, this large power, small size of the device is also expected to be applied to the micro autonomous robot.

NB is a good superconducting properties of metal elements, abundant in the earth. Among the various elements with superconducting properties, Nb is the most critical one.

Because of its unique electrical properties of niobium capacitor is often used to create. Compared with other capacitors of the same volume, the niobium capacitor has the characteristics of larger capacity, wider operating temperature range and longer service life. Has been in the computer, radar, missiles, aircraft, the use of a large number of circuits.

In addition, this material also has the compatibility of corrosion resistance and excellent biological, various liquid substances in the human body and will not happen, not only can be used for the manufacture of medical devices, but also can be used for nerve repair, even some materials can replace damaged NB bones and joints, even if it is to be implanted in the body without any problems.

Rival carbon nano materials

Over the past ten years, scientists have been trying to find to manufacture high performance super capacitor materials. The most popular materials for carbon nanotubes and graphene itself, but scientists are still not satisfied on the conductivity.

In this study, the research team consists of three researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology mechanical engineering professor Ian W Hunter, PhD student Saeed M Maiwake and the The University of British Columbia in Canada, after many experiments, finally selected niobium nanowires. Maiwake and his colleagues through experiments, high energy density is not unique to carbon nano materials, niobium nano materials may be a better choice.

New study uses a niobium nanowires made of yarn made of super capacitor. Single niobium nanowires with a diameter of only 140 nm, equivalent to 1/1000 of the diameter of a human hair.

Compared with the carbon nano materials, new materials have many unique advantages. First of all, this material is highly flexible and can be woven into the fabric, made of various shapes, can better meet the needs of the manufacturing of wearable devices; secondly, compared with the carbon nano materials, niobium nanowires with better intensity and conductivity of these materials is 100 times higher than. In addition, the niobium also has a melting point of 2500 degrees Celsius, which makes the super capacitor made by it can be used for a variety of harsh environment, and has an excellent life. By contrast, in the same volume, the niobium based super capacitor can store more than 5 times the electrical energy of the carbon nanotube material. A more attractive point is that, due to the rich content in nature, the cost of the super capacitor niobium nanowires will be cheaper.

Gospel wearable device

Researchers said, for the small size of the smart devices and wearable devices, will greatly enhance the life time, one choice is using a combination of battery and super capacitor. This combination will make the design of portable devices more easily. Due to the new nano wire super capacitor in the performance of far more than the current battery, and occupy a very small size, is expected to significantly reduce the size of the device.

Maiwake force said: "in the field of wearable devices, consumers are very sensitive to the size of the products. If you have an apple watch, the weight is reduced by 30% you may not feel particularly evident. But if thinning 30% will be able to give you a completely different feeling."

This change in small devices in particular value. Hunter said: "the current battery has a lot of problems, or storage efficiency is relatively low, or in small size is too complex. Our technology is just standing on the balance point of the volume and power, energy storage in a smaller size of the larger power."

Australia University of Wollongong engineering professor Jeffs Banks said that the future of smart fabrics and wearable technology, this work is of extraordinary significance. This study has a strong persuasive power, enough to make people aware of the amazing performance of niobium based fiber super capacitors.

So far, this material only in small laboratory scale production. The researchers say they are now starting to try to create a more practical and easier to mass production version. I believe that in the near future, a small niobium nanowires, will allow the wearable device to bloom a new luster.

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