Supercapacitor could see your phone charged in 20 seconds, teenager wins Intel Award

A California teenager has won Intel's coveted Young Scientist Award for inventing an energy storage device that could fully charge a smartphone battery in 20-30 seconds.

Eesha Khare, 18, is a senior at Saratoga's Lynbrook High School, and she was one of two runners-up for research in chemistry at Intel's International Science and Engineering Fair that took place in Phoenix, Arizona, last week.

Khare's project - appropriately named "supercapacitor" - is a tiny device that fits inside a cellphone and lasts 10 times longer than a typical 1,000-cycle rechargeable battery. It can handle up to 10,000 charges. Such innovation has already garnered interest from tech giants like Google, according to a report from CBS. 

When asked to describe why she developed the supercapacitor, Khare told NBC News her "cellphone battery always dies".

The supercapacitor holds a lot of energy in a small volume, Khare explained, and it currently powers objects like light-emitting diodes, but it could soon find its way to car batteries and portable electronics.

"It is also flexible, so it can be used in rollup displays and clothing and fabric," Khare said. "It has a lot of different applications and advantages over batteries in that sense." 

Khare received $50,000 in scholarship funds for her project and  plans to attend Harvard University this autumn.

"I will be setting the world on fire," Khare promised.