What’s the key to charging your phone (and other small electronics) in the blink of an eye? Invent a better supercapacitor, according to Eesha Khare, an 18-year-old, from California who was just awarded Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award and $50,000 at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for her project titled, "Design and Synthesis of Hydrogenated TiO2-Polyaniline Nanorods for Flexible High-Performance Supercapacitors.”
Working at a lab at the University of California Santa Cruz (under Dr. Yat Li), Khare proceeded to design a better super capacitor. She debuted the device using an LED, but hopes to power cellphones and smaller electronics in the future.
According to her paper, “I designed, synthesized, and characterized a novel core-shell nanorod electrode with hydrogenated TiO2 (H-TiO2) core and polyaniline shell. H-TiO2 acts as the double layer electrostatic core. Good conductivity of H-TiO2 combined with the high pseudocapacitance of polyaniline results in significantly higher overall capacitance and energy density while retaining good power density and cycle life. This new electrode was fabricated into a flexible solid-state device to light an LED to test it in a practical application.”
Her supercapacitor tackles the problem of limited life cycles and long charging time and can last for 10,000 charge and recharge cycles.