A Simple Slice of Energy Storage
ScienceDaily (Aug. 1, 2011) — Turning graphite oxide (GO) into full-fledged supercapacitors turns out to be simple. But until a laboratory at Rice University figured out how, it was anything but obvious.
Rice Professor Pulickel Ajayan and his team discovered they could transform a sheet of GO into a functional supercapacitor by writing patterns into it with a laser. Scientists already knew that the heat of a laser could convert GO -- the oxidized form of graphite, or carbon-based pencil lead -- into electrically conducting reduced graphite oxide (RGO). By writing patterns of RGO into thin sheets of GO, the Rice researchers effectively turned them into free-standing supercapacitors with the ability to store and release energy over thousands of cycles.