Background: Metal oxides presently are used in the manufacture of electrochemical capacitors which are found in almost every electrical device. However these materials are expensive and tend to undergo redox reactions which can affect cycling performance. When reduced to nano-scale particles nanoporous insulating oxides have electrochemical properties due to their increased surface area that surpass traditional electrochemical capacitors in terms of electrochemical energy storage. Technology Description: UW-Madison researchers have developed methods of using nano-scale nanoporous insulating oxides to construct capacitors and ultracapacitors. Combining an insulating oxide composite layer (Al2O3 TiO2 MgAl2O4 etc.) member with a conductive member results in an electrode that is useful in the construction of ultracapacitors. The composite layer is made from a stable sol-gel suspension containing particles of the insulating oxide. These ultracapacitors provide energy storage equal to or better than conventional ultracapacitors making them potentially useful in innumerable industries especially the automotive industry. The ultracapacitor is preferably configured in a stacked coiled or button cell.
Applications: 1) Energy storage 2) Hybrid vehicles
Less expensive than metal oxide-based capacitors.