2 Scientists Accidentally Discover A World-Changing Super Material
Since a pair of Russian scientists won the Nobel Prize for discoveringgraphene in 2002, scientists have raced to find a more efficient way to make it. Among them were Ric Kaner and Maher El-Kady, two UCLA scientists who were searching for a better way to manufacture the super-strong material when they accidentally happened upon another holy grail in the science community: an efficient, biodegradable battery-like device—technically speaking, a supercapacitor.
They had accidentally created a graphene supercapacitor, which charges more quickly (and with more power) than regular batteries, making it a potential candidate to power a future generation of super-efficient gadgets, cars, and systems.
Kaner describes the device as “like a battery, but charges and discharges 100 to 1,000 times faster.” He imagines charging an iPhone in 30 seconds, or fully charging an electric car in minutes.
Equally important are the supercapacitor’s environmental benefits: Unlike batteries, which contain toxic chemicals and metals, graphene is entirely biodegradable.