The top level requirements of NASA space applications demand highly efficient and highly reliable energy storage systems. Long cycle lifetime (100,000 cycles), long calendar lifetime (years or decades), and temperature performance, specifically -40 o
C and below requirements favor supercapacitors over batteries in space systems. Existing supercapacitors based on carbons or ruthenium oxide offer low capacities or are prohibitively expensive. The proposed project will develop new materials that have high potential to provide superior capacities and be economical. This development will enable a new generation of supercapacitors for various NASA missions. Technologies that allow for storage of electrical energy are critically important for today's energy-intensive applications. Hybrid and electric cars, power conditioning or backup systems, and various portable electronic devices (cameras, camcorders, and power tools) all require high density storage of energy and high power delivery rates. Supercapacitors are expected to be widely used in these applications and provide the high power density and long lifetime capabilities that are out of reach for batteries. Unfortunately, existing carbon based supercapacitors are inefficient for these applications while the state of the art ruthenium oxide devices are prohibitively expensive. Nanocomposite materials that will be developed in this project will combine high capacities with low cost and will satisfy the demands of industrial and Customer applications. NanoScale and Battelle anticipate great commercial opportunities originating from the proposed project.