Normally the phrase “energy brick” refers affectionately to the AC adapter of one thing like a laptop computer. However what if that time period was fairly literal, involving an precise brick?
A crew led by Hongmin Wang at Washington College got down to make a real energy brick. Extra particularly, they needed to see if they might use a vapor coating method to show odd pink bricks into a part of a supercapacitor. That truly isn’t fairly as bizarre because it sounds, on condition that the pink of a brick is an iron mineral, and iron is a standard part of some battery chemistries. Bricks are sometimes porous as properly, that means there’s loads of floor space the place a skinny coating might work together with that iron.
The method (one thing they’d developed beforehand) includes heating the brick in an enclosure together with hydrochloric acid and an natural compound that mercifully shortens to “EDOT.” The 2 liquid substances evaporate and condense on the brick’s convoluted floor. The acid dissolves a few of the iron mineral, releasing up iron atoms that assist the natural molecules hyperlink as much as type polymer chains (graduating to “PEDOT”) that coat the floor. The polymer makes microscopic, entangled fibers that type a steady and electrically conductive layer on every face of the brick, which in any other case stays. (This does have the impact of turning the brick black, although.)
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