Posted in | News | Nanomaterials | Nanoenergy

Researchers Demonstrate New Technique to Fabricate Flexible Supercapacitors

In a paper published in the Advanced Materials journal, Xiaodong Li and Lihong Bao, researchers from the University of South Carolina, have described a technique to convert a cotton T-shirt material into an electrical power source.

Xiaodong Li (foreground) demonstrates the flexibility of a swatch of activated carbon textile. (credit: Michael Brown, University of South Carolina)

The innovative process involves the immersion of a piece of a T-shirt in a fluoride solution, followed by drying and baking at high temperature in the absence of oxygen because oxygen presence will result in combustion or charring of the material. This process converts the surfaces of the fabric’s fibers from cellulose to activated carbon without affecting their flexibility. The researchers named the resulting material as activated carbon textile.

The researchers have demonstrated that this flexible material behaves as a capacitor by utilizing a small fabric piece as an electrode. Capacitors are capable of storing an electrical charge and are used in most of the electronic devices. According to the researchers, their activated carbon textile behaves as a double-layer capacitor or a supercapacitor as it can have especially high energy storage densities.

To further improve the activated carbon textile’s electrode performance, the researchers then applied ‘nanoflowers’ of manganese oxide on the fibers in the material. Li informed that this results in a stable, high-performance supercapacitor. The performance of this hybrid flexible supercapacitor did not drop over 5% even after several charge-discharge cycles. Li stated that mobile electronic devices like cell phones can be charged by these flexible supercapacitors when they are stacked up.

Li commented that the new technique is a low-cost green process whereas earlier techniques are complex and generated adverse side products as they utilize oil or adverse chemicals.

Will Soutter

Written by

Will Soutter

Will has a B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Durham, and a M.Sc. in Green Chemistry from the University of York. Naturally, Will is our resident Chemistry expert but, a love of science and the internet makes Will the all-rounder of the team. In his spare time Will likes to play the drums, cook and brew cider.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Soutter, Will. (2019, February 12). Researchers Demonstrate New Technique to Fabricate Flexible Supercapacitors. AZoNano. Retrieved on July 18, 2024 from

  • MLA

    Soutter, Will. "Researchers Demonstrate New Technique to Fabricate Flexible Supercapacitors". AZoNano. 18 July 2024. <>.

  • Chicago

    Soutter, Will. "Researchers Demonstrate New Technique to Fabricate Flexible Supercapacitors". AZoNano. (accessed July 18, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Soutter, Will. 2019. Researchers Demonstrate New Technique to Fabricate Flexible Supercapacitors. AZoNano, viewed 18 July 2024,

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this news story?

Leave your feedback
Your comment type

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.