A new research performed at North Carolina State University can change the future of energy-storage technologies. Researchers discovered that by incorporating water in a material the storage and delivery of energy becomes much more rapid than using a material without water layers. According to Veronica Augustyn, author of the paper, this could enable an increased amount of energy to be stored per unit of volume, and make the charge transfer quicker.
For the test, the researchers used two materials: a crystalline tungsten oxide and a layered, crystalline tungsten oxide hydrate. The results showed that the regular tungsten oxide performed better when the materials were charged for 10 minutes, but when the materials were charged for only 12 seconds, the hydrate stored the energy more efficiently.
This is just a first step, further research about incorporating solvents in layered materials could bring us closer to new types of energy-storage devices. “…this is only a first step, but this line of investigation could ultimately lead to things like thinner batteries, faster storage for renewable-based power grids, or faster acceleration in electric vehicles,” Augustyn says.