Researchers at UCLA have used a DVD burner to fabricate micro scale graphene based supercapacitors.
The consumer grade LightScribe DVD writer enabled the team to build more than 100 of the supercapacitors on one DVD "in less than 30 minutes".
The big breakthrough, they claim, is the simplicity and low cost nature of the technique, which could make the micro supercapacitors ready for large scale manufacture.
Richard Kaner of the university's NanoSystems Institute, working with graduate student Maher El-Kady, began by gluing a layer of plastic onto a DVD, before coating it with a layer of graphite oxide.
Then, they simply inserted the coated disc into a LightScribe optical drive and took advantage of the drive's own laser to create the interdigitated pattern.
Instead of trying to stack the graphene electrodes, the researchers placed them side by side, maximising the surface area the electrodes present to each other and increasing the charge carrying capacity.
Because of their highly flexible nature, the researchers believe the supercapacitors could be useful as energy storage devices in flexible electronics like roll up displays and tvs, e-paper, and even wearable electronics.
Kaner and El-Kady discuss the technique in the video below.
Author Laura Hopperton