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Supercharge your cell phone – California teen invents her way to a better cell phone battery

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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Silicon valley teen takes science fair to a new level with energy storage device that can charge a cell phone in less than 30 seconds.

Eighteen year old Eesha Khare was tired of her aging cell phone battery run dry. But, instead of talking her parents into a new phone, she created a tiny supercapacitor capable of replacing her struggling battery. With support from Chemistry Professor Yat Li from the University of California, Santa Cruz, Eesha designed, synthesized, and characterized the new flexible solid-state device, which could be scaled up for use in cell phones or even cars. According to reports, if scaled up, her supercapacitor can charge a cell phone in less than 30 seconds.

Eesha’s invention uses a core-shell nanorod electrode with a hydrogenated TiO2 core and polyaniline shell, Eesha’s device won her second place in the 2013 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Arizona. She received the Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award for $50,000.*

Eesha graduated from high school earlier this summer and is heading to Harvard this fall.

Feature photo from link via Creative Commons.

*The original publication incorrectly stated that Eesha’s device won her second place in the Intel Foundation’s Young Scientist Award competition in Arizona.

Melissa C. Lott About the Author: An engineer and researcher who works at the intersection of energy, environment, technology, and policy. Follow on Twitter @mclott.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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  1. 1. MoEnergySci 8:46 am 07/16/2013

    Enjoy reading about a young woman who is so excited and enthusiastic about pushing her own limits and exploring these types of energy topics. Great stuff. All the best to her in college this fall.

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  2. 2. rbivins 11:23 am 07/16/2013

    Dang! What took first place?!

    Link to this
  3. 3. MoEnergySci 11:46 am 07/16/2013

    From what I could find quickly – it looks like a 19 year old from Romania won with his use of “artificial intelligence to create a viable model for a low-cost, self-driving car.” 19 years old. Incredible.

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  4. 4. kienhua68 2:28 pm 07/16/2013

    Great idea. Now if it can be scaled to meet real world requirements.

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  5. 5. Qiloff 10:29 am 07/17/2013

    The thing that bothers me about “charge a battery in 30 seconds” is that the faster a Lipo battery is charged and discharged, the shorter its longevity. Besides any modern device with an internal battery has regulating circuitry which limits how fast it can be charged. So I am unclear as to how this charging works, other then being an auxiliary battery.

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  6. 6. ErnestPayne 3:59 pm 07/18/2013

    Impressive. A real pleasure to see fiscal rewards going to science and not sports. A young girl neighbour of a friend of mine won a prize for the filtration of impurities through various fabrics.

    Link to this

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