Self-recharging mobiles a possibility with newly-developed super-capacitor

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Source:Press Trust of India, October 24, 2013

Scientists have designed a novel super-capacitor that could help develop cell phones that recharge themselves in seconds and work for weeks.

The super-capacitor designed by material scientists at Vanderbilt University is the first made out of silicon so it can be built into a silicon chip along with the microelectronic circuitry that it powers.

It should be possible to construct these power cells out of the excess silicon that exists in the current generation of solar cells, sensors, mobile phones and a variety of other electromechanical devices, providing a considerable cost savings, researchers said.

“If you ask experts about making a super-capacitor out of silicon, they will tell you it is a crazy idea. But we’ve found an easy way to do it,” said Cary Pint, assistant professor of mechanical engineering who headed the study.

Instead of storing energy in chemical reactions the way batteries do, “supercaps” store electricity by assembling ions on the surface of a porous material.

As a result, they tend to charge and discharge in minutes, instead of hours, and operate for a few million cycles, instead of a few thousand cycles like batteries.

Pint and his colleagues decided to take a radically different approach: using porous silicon, a material with a controllable and well-defined nanostructure made by electrochemically etching the surface of a silicon wafer.

This allowed them to create surfaces with optimal nanostructures for super-capacitor electrodes, but it left them with a major problem.

Silicon is generally considered unsuitable for use in super-capacitors because it reacts readily with some of chemicals in the electrolytes that provide the ions that store the electrical charge.

With experience in growing carbon nanostructures, Pint’s group decided to try to coat the porous silicon surface with carbon.

When the researchers pulled the porous silicon out of the furnace, they found that it had turned from orange to purple or black.

After they inspected it under a powerful scanning electron microscope they found that it looked nearly identical to the original material but it was coated by a layer of graphene a few nanometres thick.

The researchers tested the coated material and found that it had chemically stabilised the silicon surface.

When they used it to make super-capacitors, they found that the graphene coating improved energy densities by over two orders of magnitude compared to those made from uncoated porous silicon and significantly better than commercial super-capacitors.

The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

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Oppo N1 to launch later this year, Find 7 coming in late 2014

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Oppo will be unveiling its N1 cameraphone on September 23 at a special event in Beijing, China. The Chinese manufacturer has been teasing its upcoming handset with countdown timers, sneak peaks of itscamera and its unique rear touch panel features.

 

Panasonic P51: 5inch Quad Core Handset Teased Ahead of May 16 Launch in India

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Japanese giant Panasonic, who is rather a big name in the TV manufacturing business, will likely to announce their first Android powered handset in India. The invites have been sent to media last week. On May 16, the Indian consumers would get to see the Panasonic P51 in India. There are more chances to see the P51 rolled out in the first phase, as per company’s strategy is concerned. Panasonic has already started creating buzz via TV commercials aired during IPL matches. It’s a mid-end Android device, and could be priced around Rs.25, 000, if latest buzz around the handset is concerned. The invitation sent by Panasonic says, “The First Ever Panasonic Smartphone”. The company is an old player when it comes to making handsets especially modern day – smartphones. Japanese players such as Sony, Panasonic and Sharp, are eyeing Indian market aggressively, as they see growth potential here.

Vodafone launches international roaming pack

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NEW DELHI: Vodafone India today introduced an international roaming pack for its customers offering over 90 per cent discount on data and approximately 64 per cent discount on calls while travelling across 45 countries, including the US and the UK.

The roaming pack is available for a rental of Rs 2,499 and comes with a validity of 30 days, Vodafone said in a statement.

Vodafone users will be able to access data for Rs 50/MB while roaming overseas. The existing rate is Rs 563.2/MB.

“Outgoing local and international calls will be charged at Rs 25/min and Rs 50/min respectively. Incoming calls will cost Rs 50/min,” it added.

On international roaming, the existing rate for outgoing local and international calls is Rs 70 per minute and Rs 140 per minute respectively while incoming calls are charged at Rs 70 per minute.

The company said these benefits are offered across 45 countries in partnership with select network operator in each country. Usage on any other international operator’s network in these countries will be charged at standard international roaming charges.

The new pack is in addition to the Rs 1,499 pack launched last year that offered 60 per cent discount on international roaming on voice, data and SMS in a single pack, it added.

Source: Economic Times

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