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Contact lenses a driving force behind battery breakthrough

Advances in powering electric vehicles have been inspired by soft contact lens research

Car charging

Developments in polymer materials founded in contact lens research could lead to electric vehicles travelling similar distances to petrol vehicles without the need to stop and recharge.

The advances address the conundrum of poor energy density per kilogramme in super-capacitors, which are the main rival to traditional lithium-ion batteries.

In March, Rolls-Royce signed an agreement with the UK-based start-up Superdielectrics Ltd with a view to exploring the use of the technology.

The technology builds on principles established in the development of hydrophilic polymers for extended soft contact lens wear.

Superdielectrics director of research, Dr Donald Highgate, highlighted that as well as making rapid charging possible for electric vehicles, the research holds potential for the low-cost storage of transient output from renewable energy systems.

“This new work would transform the energy system which underpins our entire way of life,” he shared.

Image credit: Noya Fields