What Eesha Khare, an 18 year old Indian-American girl has developed is a tiny supercapacitor device. This tiny device can hold lot of energy for a very long time in its small enclosure. What’s more, this tiny device can charge a cellphone battery completely in just 30 seconds.
Eesha is based in Saratoga, California. She is a senior student at Lynbrook High School in San Jose, California. With her latest device she has attracted Google’s attention. She will be attending Harvard University this fall.
The invention brought Ms. Khare, Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award including a monetary reward of USD $50,000 at Intel ISEF 2013. The world’s largest science fair organized by Intel held at Phoenix, Arizona between 12-17 May 2013. The pre-college scientific research event hosted 1600 high-school finalists from all around the world, who competed for more than USD $4 Million in awards.
The device is not a usual supercapacitor but is based on a more sophisticated nanotechnology. Normal supercapacitors store less energy per unit volume as compared to batteries, but Eesha’s masterpiece can store sufficient energy per unit volume with higher energy density. Her device is just about an inch long and a black rectangular type of supercapacitor based on nanotechnology. The device can sustain 10,000 recharge cycles which is approximately 10 times greater than recharge cycle capacity of normal batteries. The device can be modified to be used in cellphones, laptops, tablets and automobile batteries.
According to Intel, more than 1,500 young scientists from around the world were chosen to compete in last week’s fair.
Eesha said in a video interview :
The super-capacitor I have developed uses a special nanostructure, which allows for a lot greater energy per unit volume. It can charge very quickly, and it can last for 10,000 cycles, compared to batteries which are only like 1,000 cycles. The gadget has, so far, only been tested on an LED light, but the good news is that it has a good chance of working successfully in other devices, like mobile phones. It is also flexible, so it can be used in rollup displays and clothing and fabric. It has a lot of different applications and advantages over batteries in that sense.
Another winner of Young Scientist Award was Henry Lin of Shreveport, Louisiana, who too bagged USD $50,000 prize for simulating thousands of clusters of galaxies. The top prize of the event went to Ionut Budisteanu (19 year old) of Romania. He used artificial intelligence to create a viable model for a low-cost, self-driving car. He bagged the Gordon E. Moore Award (named after Intel Co-Founder), which includes USD $75,000 prize.