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Paper-Based Electrolyte for Supercapacitive Force Sensors

Technology #20170379

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Electrolyte ShapesElectrolyteSupercapacitor Electrolyte
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Researchers
Rajesh Rajamani, PhD
Professor, Mechanical Engineering
External Link (www.me.umn.edu)
Serdar A. Sezen, PhD
Associate Professor, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering St. Cloud State University
Managed By
Kevin Nickels
Technology Licensing Officer 612-625-7289
Patent Protection

Provisional Patent Application Filed

Solid-State Electrolyte is Highly Flexible and Sensitive

A highly-flexible, solid-state electrolyte with reasonable ionic conductivity for a solid electrolyte offers potential solutions for supercapacitive sensors. The paper-based electrolyte is fabricated by mixing ionic liquid with a photo-curable polymer and then brushing this ionic gel on to filter paper. The gel dissolves the paper and subsequently becomes highly flexible after a short time of UV exposure. The resulting electrolyte, which does not use any liquid, is thermally stable over a wide range of operating temperatures and can be shaped into various geometries (i.e., spirals, springs, concave or convex curved plates, rolled-up cylinders, etc.) without complex or expensive processes. The low-cost technology is quickly and easily produced by hand without complex processing and the fabrication process can be scaled up for roll to roll processing.

Solid Polymer Electrolyte can be Shaped into Several Geometries

Solid polymer electrolytes (SPEs) seek to overcome drawbacks of liquid electrolytes for a variety of charge transport and storage applications including batteries and supercapacitors. While viewed as inherently safer than their liquid counterparts, SPEs often suffer from lower capacitance and ionic mobility. This new, low-cost solid polymer electrolyte is paper-based, using cellulose from filter paper to confer stability, promote flexibility and suppress cracking or tearing. These conferred mechanical properties allow for the solid-state electrolyte to be shaped into several geometries. Furthermore, the low stiffness solid electrolyte can be incorporated in a supercapacitor and deformed by force so that electrolyte contact area with electrode increases in response to the force.

BENEFITS AND FEATURES:

  • Highly flexible
  • Highly sensitive
  • Solid-state electrolyte
  • Reasonable ionic conductivity for a solid electrolyte
  • Supercapacitive sensors
  • Paper-based
  • Scalable, low-cost and fast fabrication

APPLICATIONS:

  • Thin flexible supercapacitors
  • Sensing external environmental stimuli (e.g., humidity, temperature, pH, ion strength, solvent, and ligand interaction)
  • Supercapacitor force sensor
  • In vivo applications in the human body and/or underwater environments (sensors are not corrupted by parasitic capacitance due to water or tissue)
  • Catheter based diagnostic and surgical procedures
  • Bionic artificial organs

Phase of Development - Prototype development

Novel electrolyte material developed and fabricated into various geometries; supercapacitor based sensor configurations with the new technology designed, fabricated and tested.

Interested in Licensing?
The University relies on industry partners to scale up technologies to large enough production capacity for commercial purposes. The license is available for this technology and would be for the sale, manufacture or use of products claimed by the issued patents. Please contact Kevin Nickels to share your business needs and technical interest in this flexible solid-state electrolyte technology and if you are interested in licensing the technology for further research and development.