Breaking the law

UK scientists have used X-ray scattering to show for the first time how Coloumb's law that says opposing electrical charges attract might be broken in ionic liquids confined in a nanoscopic space. The results might lead to a new way to construct batteries, supercapacitors, alternative energy supplies and even water treatment technology. Team leader, Drexel University's Yury Gogotsi suggests that, "We can get safer batteries and supercapacitors when using ionic liquid electrolytes because the ionic liquids are not flammable like the electrolyte solutions currently used in these devices."