back to article UCLA trumpets supercapacitor for wearables or implants

A hybrid supercapacitor out of UCLA has got the uni's boffins excited, since they claim they've achieved high energy density but in a thinner-than-paper package. In a paper published at PNAS (abstract), the researchers claim capacitance of more than 1,100 Farads per cubic centimetre – or around 1,145 Farads per gram, which is …

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    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Capacitors do have an internal resistance - look for 'ESR' in the specification. And inductance, too, the amount varying depending on the construction.

      But if these don't have a halt and catch fire mode, they're never going to cut it in the world of *real* batteries.

      1. frank ly

        The abstract is interesting, if a bit short. This is not a classical capacitor, it's a 'hybrid supercapacitor' and seems to be a device that stores energy by electrochemical reactions, as well as classical capacitance effects.

  2. Conundrum1885

    Re. capacitors

    Maybe this could be just the thing that microdrones (yes this is actually a real thing) need to take off.

    Picture this, a whole army of these things which when the battery gets low seek out a convenient metal immobile object with the correct magnetic properties and "clamp on", extending their shielded solar panels mounted on the rotors to capture sunlight like a leaf.

    Upon fully recharging they exchange information to each other like "Hi Drone 455, there is a nice landing point here" and any other useful information then apply current pulse directly to the magnet via resistive contacts to weaken the field enough to detach then resume their SAR/etc mission.

    Also an advantage with microdrones is that if they are equipped with a hive mind they can cooperate on tasks such as linking together via magnetic (alternate) clamps and lifting large objects.

    Sort of like foglets but on a larger scale.

    1. Six_Degrees

      Re: Re. capacitors

      They'll be built to fly up terrorist noses and explode, though. Not do SAR.

    2. southen bastard

      Re: Re. capacitors

      Replicators have been known to cause problems, but that's no reason not to invent them

    3. Martin Budden Silver badge

      Re: Re. capacitors

      a whole army of these things

      a whole air force, Shirley?

  3. DropBear

    Oh, is it time yet for The Next Earth-Shattering New Battery Technology Only A Year Or Two Away About Which You'll Only Read Exactly Once And Then Never, Ever Again? Jolly good, do carry on...!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      well, if it really is earth-shattering then the US DoD will probably start punting cash their way ...

      1. Tom 13


        I expect Marvin will beat them to it. And with a bottle of powdered Martians in his hip pocket he should be able to hold them off indefinitely.

  4. Christoph

    What are the failure modes?

    The more densely you store energy the nastier it is when it escapes, regardless of the technology. But it's even nastier if it escapes fast.

    A lithium battery in your pocket can catch fire, and dump its energy in a few minutes.

    A supercapacitor in your pocket can go FA-ZAPP!

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "A supercapacitor in your pocket can go FA-ZAPP!"

      Mmmmmm...IoT pacemaker powered by graphene supercap and the usual level of security.

  5. phil dude
    Thumb Up


    Some strange response to an inventive idea. The DVD burner video is very interesting for the combination of high-accurate COTS, combined with "kitchen cabinet" chemistry.

    It might be that failure modes are caused by the inhomogeneous way in which most deposition chemistries are achieved.

    If batteries were made like CPUs, perhaps there would be fewer problems, but they would cost $$$$.

    It would appear this sort of addresses the manufacturing consistency part of the process..

    My $0.02.


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