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: Nanoparticles give up forensic secrets

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nanotube cathode beats large, pricey laser

Sep 30, 2014

Scientists are a step closer to building an intense electron beam source without a laser. Using the High-Brightness Electron Source Lab at DOE's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, a team led by scientist ...

Smartgels are thicker than water

Sep 19, 2014

Transforming substances from liquids into gels plays an important role across many industries, including cosmetics, medicine, and energy. But the transformation process, called gelation, where manufacturers ...

Recommended for you

Nanoparticles give up forensic secrets

11 hours ago

A group of researchers from Switzerland has thrown light on the precise mechanisms responsible for the impressive ability of nanoparticles to detect fingermarks left at crime scenes.

New absorber will lead to better biosensors

18 hours ago

Biological sensors, or biosensors, are like technological canaries in the coalmine. By converting a biological response into an optical or electrical signal, they can alert us to dangers in our external and internal environments. ...

'Stealth' nanoparticles could improve cancer vaccines

20 hours ago

Cancer vaccines have recently emerged as a promising approach for killing tumor cells before they spread. But so far, most clinical candidates haven't worked that well. Now, scientists have developed a new ...

Nanoparticles accumulate quickly in wetland sediment

21 hours ago

(Phys.org) —A Duke University team has found that nanoparticles called single-walled carbon nanotubes accumulate quickly in the bottom sediments of an experimental wetland setting, an action they say could ...

User comments : 0