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Supercap in a chip could power the IoT

Technology News |
By Rich Pell

The high energy and power density of the miniaturized energy storage relies on the new hybrid nanomaterial developed recently at VTT.

The energy and power density of a supercapacitor depends on the surface area and conductivity of the solid electrodes. VTT’s research group has developed a hybrid nanomaterial electrode, which consists of porous silicon coated with a few nanometre thick titanium nitride layer by atomic layer deposition (ALD). This approach leads to a record large conductive surface in a small volume. Inclusion of ionic liquid in a micro channel formed in between two hybrid electrodes results in extremely small and efficient energy storage.

For the first time, silicon based micro-supercapacitor competes with the leading carbon and graphene based devices in power, energy and durability.

Micro-supercapacitors can be integrated directly with active microelectronic devices to store electrical energy generated by different thermal, light and vibration energy harvesters and to supply the electrical energy when needed. This is important for autonomous sensor networks, wearable electronics, and mobile electronics of the IoT.

The demonstrated in-chip supercapacitor technology enables storing energy of as much as 0.2 joule and impressive power generation of 2-W on a one square centimetre silicon chip. At the same time it leaves the surface of the chip available for active integrated microcircuits and sensors.

VTT is currently seeking a party interested in commercializing the technique. For more, see “Conformal titanium nitride in a porous silicon matrix: A nanomaterial for in-chip supercapacitors.”

www.vttresearch.com

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Transparent, flexible supercap promises new smart applications
Energy harvesting market set for 20% CAGR
3D microbattery promises on-chip power for micro-scale devices


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