Physicists from Australia and Singapore have shown that one-dimensional carbon structures, in a bun, allow to efficiently store mechanical energy and can be used as a stable battery. The work presented in the journal Nature Communications.
In recent years, people more and more are switching to renewable energy sources. Unfortunately, renewable energy sources are intermittent, therefore it is necessary to develop efficient storage of energy for later use. The most common approach today is to store energy in electrochemical batteries, for example, the mechanical energy of the water flow through hydroelectric power converts into electricity, while part of the energy is lost.
With the advent of low-dimensional carbon structures made it possible to store energy directly in mechanical systems such as carbon nanotubes. Compared to lithium-ion batteries, automatic battery-based nanotubes has a fast charging and discharging and, as a rule, is much more stable. These unique features make carbon structures are ideal building blocks for artificial muscles, soft robotics and flexible electronics.
However, the production of long carbon nanotubes is difficult. In 2015, scientists have proposed one-dimensional carbon structures, carbon filaments, which were much easier to fabricate, and bundles of such threads have a similar nanotube on mechanical properties.
A group of scientists from Australia and Singapore under the leadership of Professor Yuantong GU (Yuantong Gu) has proposed the use of carbon filament as a mechanical battery for the first time compared the efficiency of storing energy in the filaments with the same efficiency in nanotubes.