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Recently, researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have designed a novel, ultra-micro supercapacitor capable of storing an enormous amount of electric charge.

Why in news?

  • The researchers from IISc's Department of Instrumentation and Applied Physics (IAP), fabricated their supercapacitor using 'Field Effect Transistors' or FETs as the charge collectors, instead of the metallic electrodes that are used in existing capacitors.
  • Current capacitors typically use metal oxide-based electrodes, but they are limited by poor electron mobility.
  • The team built hybrid FETs consisting of alternating few-atoms-thick layers of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) and graphene – to increase electron mobility – which are then connected to gold contacts.
  • This news device can potentially be used in many appliances ranging from streetlights to consumer electronics, electric cars, etc.

What are supercapacitors?

  • A supercapacitor is a next-generation energy storage device which is also known as an ultracapacitor. ​
  • It has advantages such as high-power density, long durability, and ultrafast charging characteristics as compared to conventional capacitors and Lithium-Ion batteries (LIB).
  • The main components of supercapacitors include an electrode, electrolyte, separator, and current collector.
  • The fabrication cost of electrode materials, as well as electrolytes, should be reduced because these two components account for a major portion of the device manufacturing cost.
  • An electrode is a solid electric conductor that carries electric current into non-metallic solids, liquids, gases, plasmas, or vacuums.
  • An electrolyte is a substance that produces an electrically conducting solution when dissolved in a polar solvent, such as water. 


Q1) What is molybdenum?

Molybdenum is an essential trace mineral. It is found in foods such as milk, cheese, cereal grains, legumes, nuts, leafy vegetables, and organ meats. It works in the body to break down proteins and other substances.

Source: IISc researchers design supercapacitors capable of storing enormous electric charge