Para los amantes de la tecnología: se ha descubierto un nuevo material que permitirá el uso de aparatos por más tiempo sin tener que estar pegado a un cable para cargar energía...
Unlike a battery where energy is stored in a chemical form, a supercapacitor is an electrical device that stores energy in an electric field. This field is generated by negative and positive plates in the capacitor - and their "super" status comes from their ability to hold four times as much charge as a normal capacitor.
Currently, supercapacitors are made from ruthenium oxide but the high price of this compound limits their use in a wide range of technologies. They are most useful in applications like hybrid cars and robotics where a large, fast pulse of energy is required. Compared to a normal battery, a supercapacitor can also last much longer.
The new material - called nanocrystalline vanadium nitride - could be a viable alternative to ruthenium oxide. It has a capacitance that is almost two times greater and can also store energy for longer. The structure of the material has two layers: it has an outer shell of vanadium oxide and an inner core of vanadium nitride. This set-up enables energy storage because of electrochemical reactions that occur on the vanadium oxide surface - which generate an electric charge. The vanadium nitride interior stores the charge generated.