Aerospace & Defense

Information Technology


Emerging Capabilities

Energy Storage


Today we are hindered by the limitations of the batteries we use in everyday life, for transportation needs, electronics and defense systems. Nanotechnology enables significant performance and technology improvements in the area of energy storage. Using carbon nanostructures and silicon, we are able to create highly efficient, environmentally sustainable and cost-effective energy storage solutions:

Lithium Ion Batteries
The next generation lithium ion batteries will reset the standard by creating an energy source that is lighter weight, lower cost, and higher performing with higher energy density and faster energy transfer. We designed nano-infused electrodes that when matched with newly designed electrolytes and commercially available cathodes, the batteries retain their performance characteristics over a wider range of operational temperatures. Test results on the electrodes and batteries built with nanosilicon anodes show: more than 300 percent greater capacity compared to existing carbon anode materials, 70 percent retention of discharge capacity more than 300 charge/discharge cycles and 80 percent reduction in anode weight.

Supercapacitors, characterized by fast charge and discharge capabilities over hundreds of thousands of cycles, serve a wide range of commercial power storage applications including light-rail regenerative breaking systems, load leveling in electric and hybrid electric vehicles and utility-scale power grids. New technology is set to enable significant improvements in performance characteristics: up to 200 percent improvement in specific capacitance, three-fold boost in high-rate capability, at least a 15 percent improvement in low-rate capability and three-to four-fold enhancement of through-plane conductivity.

Flow Batteries
When it comes to storing hours of power, few batteries can match the theoretical performance of a flow battery system. Using our carbon nanostructure technology, we have taken a major step toward reducing the expense of flow battery systems. Carbon nanostructure-infused electrodes have five times the current density capacity and improved system-level efficiencies of conventional cell stacks.

Storing and dispensing energy in the most cost effective and energy efficient manner is no easy task, but groundbreaking nanomaterials development promises a powerful future for energy storage.