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Prototype Carbon Nanotube Ultracapacitor, Phase II

Completed Technology Project

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Prototype Carbon Nanotube Ultracapacitor, Phase II
Scientic, Inc. and Vanderbilt University propose to dramatically improve the performance of ultracapacitors to address several applications within NASA. As power-supply components, ultracapacitors provide extremely high power densities, fast recharging rates, and long cycle life; when used in tandem with batteries, they can greatly extend battery life. We note that ultracapacitors can assume almost any form factor that an application might require. Our recent success with a flexible substrate supports this claim. Finally, commercialization of our ultracapacitor will rely on the use of environmentally friendly materials and well understood industrial manufacturing processes in common use today. We propose to develop a novel hybrid electrochemical ultracapacitor which will combine desirable attributes such as extremely high energy-power density, excellent life-cycle reliability and safety characteristics, with low production cost and have the potential for widespread deployment in energy delivery/storage applications for the NASA. In this innovative, hybrid, demonstrated approach we will grow vertically-aligned carbon nanotubes (CNT) directly on conducting flexible substrates to reduce contact resistances, and we will exploit the more controllable CNT nano-architectures for optimum attachment of inexpensive pseudocapacitive manganese-dioxide (MnO2) nanoparticles to enhance charge efficiency and energy-power capacity. Our approach employs "green" electrolyte that increases cell voltage. More »

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