Carbon Nanotube Composites for Supercapacitors

Tech ID: 20366 / UC Case 2009-058-0

Summary

UCLA engineers have developed a nanocomposite material that vastly improves the charge storage capability of electrochemical supercapacitors. This innovation poises ECs for commercialization in electronic, communication, medical, and automotive industries.

Background

Digital electronic devices continue to evolve rapidly; whereas the development of methods to power these devices has been comparably minimal. Lithium-ion batteries are frequently used in handheld devices, however their performance degrades over repeated usage. Electrochemical capacitors (ECs), or supercapacitors, have recently advanced and are now being considered as an alternative to traditional batteries. ECs offer considerable advantages over traditional batteries in that they can be charged in about 1 second, and can be recharged and discharged hundreds of thousands of times without a decline in performance. ECs have not been successfully commercialized, however, since the conventional battery can store more charge for a given volume.

Innovation

Researchers at UCLA have created a nanocomposite material that vastly improves the charge storage capability of the EC/ supercapacitors. The unique composite consists of vanadium pentaoxide nanowires (VNW) with varying amounts of carbon nanotube (CNT) supported vanadium pentaoxides. This unique CNT-VNW structure achieves higher specific energy, higher specific power, and enhanced electrochemical capacitance for supercapacitor applications. Furthermore, the CNT-VNW composite structure imparts higher capacitance than either CNT or VNW alone.

Applications

  • Digital Electronic Devices
    • Computers
    • Cameras
    • Mobile Phones/ Handheld Wireless Devices
  • Implanted Medical Devices/ Biosensors
  • Regenerative Braking Systems
    • Hybrid Vehicles

Advantages

  • High Reliability
  • Reduced Energy Usage
  • Rapid Recharging Capability (~1sec)
  • Nearly unlimited ability to recharge/discharge without degraded performance
  • Enhanced electrochemical capacitance

State of Development

Successful and thorough testing of the composite material has been completed.

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 8,427,813 04/23/2013 2009-058
 

Contact

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Inventors

  • Lu, Yunfeng

Other Information

Keywords

electrochemical capacitors, supercapacitors, nanotubes, hybrid, vehicle, computer, battery, digital

Categorized As