A silicon wafer with a porous surface that has been coated with graphene next to the special furnace where the coating was applied. Credit: Joe Howell, Vanderbilt University

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The first supercapacitor made out of silicon can be built into a silicon chip along with the microelectronic circuitry that it powers. It should be possible to construct these power cells out of the excess silicon that exists in the current generation of solar cells, sensors, mobile phones, and a variety of other electromechanical devices, providing a considerable cost savings.

For more information visit http://www.exploration.vanderbilt.edu/