Electrolyte-Free Charge Injection Tuning of Carbon Nanotube Sheets – Offering Novel Supercapacitor Technology


This invention utilizes bulk material property modification via hole or electron injection into conducting and porous materials including but not limited to carbon nanotubes.  Bulk carbon nanotube (CNT) assemblies (sheets, rods, etc) can be charged electrochemically in an electrolyte bath.  After the CNT sheet is charged (positively or negatively) in a NaCL solution (electrolyte), it is taken out of the salt solution (now electrolyte-free), washed and then dried.  The charges remain on the CNT sheet for several years.  Magnetic, electronic or optical properties of the charged CNT material can be easily tuned and tailored to specific applications. 



Capacitors have long been used in electronics as a means to quickly store and release electronic charge. While capacitors exhibit short charging cycles and a lifecycle upwards of 300,000 charges, they are not traditionally used in energy storage applications because they do not have the energy density or charge-retaining capacity of batteries.  Instead of holding charge for weeks, a capacitor with this technology can be hold a charge for years thus making it an attractive alternative for energy storage.

Also, prior-art methods for changing material properties by charge injection either involve dopant intercalation, which causes irreversible structural change of the materials, or require the presence of a surrounding electrolyte.  The current invention requires neither of the above.

Potential Benefits:


·         Long Storage Life - capacitor charge retention is increased to longer than a year

·         Charge Retention - capacitors can retain charge without electrolyte

·         Expanded Applications - enables ultracapacitors to be used in place of electrochemical batteries in virtually all applications

·         Fully Reversible Process – does not utilize dopant intercalation


Potential Applications:

·         Disposable Supercapacitor

·         Field Emission Display

·         Transparent Capacitor

·         Drug Delivery


IP Status:


U.S. Patent No. 8,101,061 “Material and Device Properties Modification by Electrochemical Charge” issued on January 24, 2012. 

·         Five Divisional Patents Issued – Titled “Material and device properties modification by electrochemical charge injection in the absence of contacting electrolyte for either local spatial or final states”:

o    U.S. Patent No. 7,897,030 filed on Oct. 13, 2006; Issue Date: March 1, 2011

o    U.S. Patent No. 8,021,524 filed on Oct. 13, 2006; Issue Date: September 20, 2011;

o    U.S. Patent No. 8,066,855 filed on Oct. 13, 2006 ; Issue Date: November 29, 2011;

o    U.S. Patent No. 8,080,149 filed on Oct. 13, 2006; Issue Date: December 20, 2011; and

o    U.S. Patent No. 8,083,909 filed on Oct. 13, 2006; Issue Date: December 27, 2011.


ID Number: MP 04-023


Additional Materials: 


·         Advanced Materials Paper


Contact: otc@utdallas.edu

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
OTC Licensing
Dong-Seok Suh
Ray Baughman
Anvar Zakhidov
Carbon Nanotubes
Drug Delivery
Energy Storage & Battery
Engineering & Physical Sciences
Research Tools
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