Deep-fried graphene may be the key to long-lasting batteries

The deep frying process isn't just useful for livening up your food -- it might also be the ticket to better batteries in your mobile devices. South Korean researchers have created highly conductive, stable electrode materials by spraying graphene oxide droplets into a very hot blend of acid and organic solvent, much like you'd dip chicken into oil. The resulting "pom-poms" (what you see above) aren't at all tasty, but their open 3D structure makes them far better for transferring electrical charges than plain graphene.

Other scientists have developed 3D graphene before, with similar energy capacitance. However, this deep-fry method is a lot easier to translate to mass production -- it's simple and scales easily to larger batches. This is just one piece of the puzzle (albeit an important one), so it'll be a while before you see batteries based on this trick. Should everything pan out, though, your future smartphone or electric car may last much longer thanks to some carbon-based cuisine.

[Image credit: Chemical Materials]