Imagine being able to carry all the juice you needed to power your MP3 player, smartphone and electric car in the fabric of your jacket?
Sounds like science fiction, but it may become a reality thanks to breakthrough technology developed at a University of Central Florida research lab.
So far electrical cables are used only to transmit electricity. However, nanotechnology scientist and professor Jayan Thomas and his Ph.D. student Zenan Yu have developed a way to both transmit and store electricity in a single lightweight copper wire.
Their work is the focus of the cover story of the June 30 issue of the material science journal Advanced Materials and science magazine, Nature has published a detailed discussion about this technology in the current issue.
"It's a very interesting idea," Thomas said. "When we did it and started talking about it, everyone we talked to said, "Hmm, never thought of that. It's unique.'"
Copper wire is the starting point but eventually, Thomas said, as the technology improves, special fibers could also be developed with nanostructures to conduct and store energy.