Young Scientist Invents Device That Charges Cell Phones In 20 Seconds

Image via Intel

Dead cell phone batteries are one of life’s biggest bitches. Most people’s mobile phones are glued to them at the hip—or the hand, if you will—and being cut off from communication sucks some major balls. So it’s surprising no one has built a better battery… Until now, that is.

Eighteen-year-old Eesha Khare, a senior at California’s Lynbrook High School, won $50,000 at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for inventing a tiny device that fits inside a cellphone battery. The “supercapacitor” enables phone batteries to charge in just 20 to 30 seconds and garnered Eesha the Young Scientist Award for research in chemistry.

My project, I developed a new supercapacitor, which is basically an energy storage device which can hold a lot of energy in a small amount of volume,” Eesha told CBS.

With her runner-up prize money, Eesha plans to visit Harvard University this fall and study research.

Not only did Eesha’s invention beat those from 1,600 scientists in more than 70 countries, she’s also caught Google’s attention. Mountain View has already contacted her expressing interest. The supercapacitor’s diminutive size, as well as its ability to handle 10,000 recharge cycles—10 times what current batteries typically accommodate—provide unknown possibilities. Eesha already sees the tiny device applying to car batteries and other gadgets that use a rechargeable battery.

‘It is also flexible, so it can be used in roll-up displays and clothing and fabric,” Eesha said. “It has a lot of different applications and advantages over batteries in that sense.