June 29, 2009

NSF funds graphene ultracapacitor project

The National Science Foundation has awarded $633,687 to two University of Texas researchers to develop graphene electrodes for ultracapacitors.

Graphene is the single-atom-thick sheet form of carbon. It has an extremely high surface area, which makes it useful for storing electricity. The main challenge is coming up with practical ways of making large amounts of the material.

The NSF award will fund work by Rodney Ruoff and Christopher Bielawski. Ruoff has been working on graphene ultracapacitors for several years, and his work is the basis of startup company Graphene Energy.

Ultracapacitors store less electricity than batteries but charge and discharge far more quickly. Researchers are working on boosting the amount of electricity they can hold. Ultracapacitors are used in electric and hybrid vehicles. The graphene work could also lead to better batteries.

Back to ERN June 29, 2009



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