California Teen's Supercapacitor Invention Could Charge Cell Phones In 20 Seconds

Batteries--specifically, their lack of longevity and long recharge cycles--have been one of the most annoying bottlenecks to mobile innovation, but a California teenager has developed a technology that could significantly relieve some of that burden. 18-year-old Eesha Kare developed a supercapacitor that could fit inside a battery and charge cell phones in 20 to 30 seconds instead of hours.

Further, it offers 10,000 charge/recharge cycles, which is a far cry from the 1,000 or so cycles that many rechargeable batteries have.

Eesha Kare
Eesha Kare (Image credit:  Intel Corp)

Kare’s supercapacitor won her a cool $50,000 scholarship award from the Intel Foundation Young Scientist contest. So far, she’s demonstrated the technology by powering an LED, but the potential applications are far more interesting. “"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," she told NBC News.

Congratulations to Kare and the other award winners. We have a feeling these kids will be on tech companies’ radars for the next several years as they earn their degrees.