New material promises more efficient energy storage

Physicists of the University of Luxembourg have discovered a material with special electric properties, which might lead to better energy storage devices – the basis for smaller, faster and more efficient electronics.

Tanja Schilling, professor of physics at the University of Luxembourg, and her team were investigating compound materials made of polymers and flaky graphene, which they initially found did not increase the conductivity in the way polymers and carbon nanotubes did.

But they then found the effect that put the conductivity of the plastics-graphene-compound into question, also causes it to have remarkable dielectric properties. Schilling discovered that she could generate a strong electric field inside of the material – the fundamental property for the production of efficient capacitors – components that can store energy statically.

“Materials with a high dielectric constant, so-called high-k-materials, are highly sought after,” says Schilling.

The discovery was published in Nature Communications.

Bill Condie

Bill Condie

Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.

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