High Power Supercapacitors From Carbon Nanotubes

Feb 15, 2005

Supercapacitors that can deliver a strong surge of electrical power could be manufactured from carbon nanotubes using a technique developed by researchers at UC Davis.
Supercapacitors are electrical storage devices that can deliver a huge amount of energy in a short time. Hybrid-electric and fuel-cell powered vehicles need such a surge of energy to start, more than can be provided by regular batteries. Supercapacitors are also needed in a wide range of electronic and engineering applications, wherever a large, rapid pulse of energy is required.

Ning Pan, a professor of textiles in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering and the Nanomaterials in the Environment, Agriculture and Technology (NEAT) center at UC Davis, postdoctoral researcher Chunsheng Du and Jeff Yeh of Mytitek Inc. of Davis prepared suspensions of carbon nanotubes -- tiny rolled-up cylinders of carbon just a few atoms across. They developed a method to deposit the nanotubes on nickel foil so that the nanotubes were aligned and packed closely together.

Conventional, or "Faraday" capacitors, store electrical charges between a series of interleaved conducting plates. Because of their small size, the nanotubes provide a huge surface area on which to store and release energy, Pan said.

The new devices can produce a power density of 30 kilowatts per kilogram (kW/kg), compared with 4 kW/kg for the most advanced devices currently available commercially, Pan said. Other researchers have described laboratory supercapacitors capable of up to 20 kW/kg, he said.

The work is published in the Feb. 1 issue of the journal Nanotechnology.

Source: University of California - Davis

Explore further: The latest fashion: Graphene edges can be tailor-made

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Defects are perfect in laser-induced graphene

Dec 10, 2014

Researchers at Rice University have created flexible, patterned sheets of multilayer graphene from a cheap polymer by burning it with a computer-controlled laser. The process works in air at room temperature ...

Recommended for you

The latest fashion: Graphene edges can be tailor-made

Jan 23, 2015

Theoretical physicists at Rice University are living on the edge as they study the astounding properties of graphene. In a new study, they figure out how researchers can fracture graphene nanoribbons to get ...

Nanotechnology changes behavior of materials

Jan 23, 2015

One of the reasons solar cells are not used more widely is cost—the materials used to make them most efficient are expensive. Engineers are exploring ways to print solar cells from inks, but the devices ...

Gold 'nano-drills'

Jan 22, 2015

Spherical gold particles are able to 'drill' a nano-diameter tunnel in ceramic material when heated. This is an easy and attractive way to equip chips with nanopores for DNA analysis, for example. Nanotechnologists ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.