Plastic Crystal Modified Nano-Wire Ultra Capacitor (NUC)

Case ID:

This invention involves the addition of plastic crystals to the dielectric material of a nanowire ultracapacitor (NUC).  An existing NUC design was developed by the University of Arizona in conjunction with the University of California, Irvine.  Addition of the plastic crystals serves as an optimization to the existing design by increasing the NUC’s capacitance and subsequently, its energy density. 


UArizona researchers have determined that the addition of plastic crystals (i.e. eutectic salts) can increase the energy density of a capacitor by increasing the capacitance of the dielectric membrane material. The plastic crystal addition is being tested on an existing UArizona patented design for small, energy dense nanowire ultracapacitors (NUCs). The surface area addition resulting from plastic crystal and nanowire usage results in increased energy storage per unit volume compared to existing plate capacitor technologies. 



  • Standby power generation for transportation vehicles (buses, cars, trains)
  • Energy storage for solar and wind power applications
  • Back-up power supply source for portable electronics (communication, medical)



  • Ultracapacitors exhibit high energy densities, rapid recharge cycle times, and an unlimited number of charge-discharge cycles. These properties exceed most conventional batteries.
  • Plastic salt addition raises the capacitance and energy addition several additions over unfilled ultracapacitors
  • NUC disposal sends no toxic materials to landfills; a significant advantage over lithium battery technologies
  • Eutectic salts which serve as the plastic crystals in the technology are relatively low cost and easily accessible commodities
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Brett Mortenson
Licensing Manager, College of Engineering
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Dominic Gervasio