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An 18-year-old student, Eesha Khare, has reportedly developed a new form of energy storage, referred to as a supercapacitor, that promises to recharge a cellphone in 20 to 30 seconds. The research project landed Khare a $50,000 scholarship and an Intel Foundation Young Scientists Award at the Intel-sponsored International Science and Engineering Fair, along with a $5,000 "best of category" award and another $3,000 prize in the chemistry division.
The solid-state supercapacitor is said to be composed of hydrogenated TiO2-polyaniline nanorods, which are claimed to support up to 10,000 recharge cycles, according to a SlashGearreport. The prototype device is small enough to fit inside a cellphone, though Khare's tests were limited to illuminating an LED.
Supercapacitors have been considered for a wide range of applications, including electric vehicles. UCLA scientists recently found a way to utilize graphene to create supercapacitors, claiming such technology "does away with" the disadvantages of both batteries and traditional capacitors.
The California teen reportedly plans to continue her energy-storage research, and she expects the $50,000 to help with Harvard tuition. She is said to have been contacted by Google, though she declined to provide more details on any talks with the search giant.