deluxe capacitor

UH researchers contribute to promising energy storage technology

Researchers from the University of Houston, Jackson State University, and Howard University have created a new type of flexible high-energy-density capacitor, a device that stores energy. Photo via

Storage is a major part of the energy system that's ripe for innovation and disruption — and a research team based partly out of the University of Houston has made a remarkable milestone in capacitor technology.

Researchers from the University of Houston, Jackson State University, and Howard University have created a new type of flexible high-energy-density capacitor, a device that stores energy. For now, the prototype is just 1-inch by 1-inch, but a larger version of the technology can highly impact industries that rely on energy storage or batteries.

The research team explained their project in a paper titled “Ultrahigh Capacitive Energy Density in Stratified 2D Nanofiller-Based Polymer Dielectric Films” published in the journal ACS Nano.

“High-energy and high-power capacitors are essential for a reliable power supply, especially as we shift to using more renewable energy sources," Alamgir Karim, Dow Chair and Welch Foundation Professor of Chemical Engineering at UH and faculty mentor on the team, says in a UH news release. "However, current dielectric capacitors don't store as much energy as other types of energy storage devices such as batteries. The higher power density of capacitors makes them more attractive for a multitude of applications as compared to batteries."

The unique design of the capacitor includes layering polymers with oriented 2D nanofillers — which create a material that's thinner than human hair. The design featured an improved energy storage performance with higher energy density and efficiency than existing technologies.

"Our work demonstrates the development of high energy and high-power density capacitors by blocking electrical breakdown pathways in polymeric materials using the oriented 2D nanofillers," adds Maninderjeet Singh, who earned a Ph.D. in chemical engineering at UH last year and is the first author on the paper along with Priyanka Das from Jackson State University. "We achieved an ultra-high energy density of approximately 75 J/cm³, the highest reported for a polymeric dielectric capacitor to date."

Once scaled, the technology has the potential to enhance energy storage in electronics, electric vehicles, power systems, and more.

Trending News

A View From HETI

Grace Rodriguez (left) and Juliana Garaizar have partnered up — along with their teams — to collaborate on the Equitable Energy Transition Alliance and Lab. Photos courtesy

A group of Houston's innovation and energy leaders teamed up to establish an initiative supporting equitability in the energy transition.

Impact Hub Houston, a nonprofit incubator and ecosystem builder, partnered with Energy Tech Nexus to establish the Equitable Energy Transition Alliance and Lab to accelerate startup pilots for underserved communities. The initiative announced that it's won the 2024 U.S. Small Business Administration Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, or GAFC, Stage One award.

"We are incredibly honored to be recognized by the SBA alongside our esteemed partners at Energy Tech Nexus," Grace Rodriguez, co-founder and executive director of Impact Hub Houston, says in a news release. "This award validates our shared commitment to building a robust innovation ecosystem in Houston, especially for solutions that advance the Sustainable Development Goals at the critical intersections of industry, innovation, sustainability, and reducing inequality."

The GAFC award, which honors and supports small business research and development, provides $50,000 prize to its winners. The Houston collaboration aligns with the program's theme area of Sustainability and Biotechnology.

“This award offers us a great opportunity to amplify the innovations of Houston’s clean energy and decarbonization pioneers,” adds Juliana Garaizar, founding partner of the Energy Tech Nexus. “By combining Impact Hub Houston’s entrepreneurial resources with Energy Tech Nexus’ deep industry expertise, we can create a truly transformative force for positive change.”

Per the release, Impact Hub Houston and Energy Tech Nexus will use the funding to recruit new partners, strengthen existing alliances, and host impactful events and programs to help sustainable startups access pilots, contracts, and capital to grow.

"SBA’s Growth Accelerator Fund Competition Stage One winners join the SBA’s incredible network of entrepreneurial support organizations contributing to America’s innovative startup ecosystem, ensuring the next generation of science and technology-based innovations scale into thriving businesses," says U.S. SBA Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman.


This article originally ran on InnovationMap.

Trending News