Researchers have created highly stretchable supercapacitors for powering wearable electronics. The newly developed supercapacitor has demonstrated solid performance and stability, even when it is stretched to 800 percent of its original size for thousands of stretching/relaxing cycles.

Researchers have provided a potential solution via crumpled carbon nanotube forests. (Credit: MSU)

The team's results may spur the development of new stretchable energy electronic systems, implantable biomedical devices, as well as smart packaging systems. The discovery is the first to use crumpled standing carbon nanotube forests (CNTs) for stretchable energy storage applications, which grow like trees with their canopies tangled on wafers. This forest, however, is merely 10–30 μm high. After transferred and crumpled, the CNT forest forms impressive stretchable patterns. The 3D interconnected CNT forest has a larger surface area and can be easily modified with nanoparticles or adapted to other designs.

Even when it's stretched up to 300 percent along each direction, it still conducts efficiently. Other designs lose efficiency, can usually be stretched in only one direction or malfunction completely when they are stretched at much lower levels.

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