South Bay teen on science’s frontier

A Saratoga 18-year-old’s invention could very well revolutionize how we use batteries, and how quickly we charge them.

Lynbrook High School senior Eesha Khare from Saratoga was one of two runners up at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, where she was awarded $50,000 for her research in chemistry.

Khare’s invention beat out more than 1,600 finalists representing more than 70 countries at the Phoenix fair this week.

She explained her project to CBS-SF:

“I developed a new supercapacitor, which is basically an energy storage device [that] can hold a lot of energy in a small amount of volume.”

This so-called supercapacitor is capable of fitting inside a cell phone or other electronic device, and be charged in 20 to 30 seconds. What’s also impressive is that its charge-recharge lifecycle is 10 times more than rechargeable batteries that exist today.

The implication of this invention is that one day, perhaps thanks to Khare, cell phone and laptop users may not have to tether themselves to electrical wall outlets so much.

Her supercapacitor can also be used for car batteries, and in other non-traditional applications because of its flexibility. She told NBC News:

“[My invention] can be used in roll-up displays and clothing and fabric. It has a lot of different applications and advantages over batteries in that sense.”

Khare plans to use her $50,000 prize to help fund her college education when she goes off to Harvard this fall. And according to CBS-SF, she has already attracted the attention of the folks at Google.

Before attending Harvard and perhaps earning a Nobel Prize someday, Khare’s next worry is prom — which was this weekend.