Supercharged super capacitors | PBS’s “NOVA”

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Professor Richard Kaner and postdoc Dr Maher El-Kady are featured in a recent episode of PBS’s science show “NOVA”.

Kaner, a distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry and materials science and engineering at UCLA, is leading the research that could revolutionize the way we depend on batteries.

The interview was part of an episode titled “Search for the Super Battery” which aired on February 1, 2017. The episode aimed at exploring the hidden world of energy storage and how it holds the keys to a greener future.   

In the interview that took place at Kaner’s UCLA office and lab, Kaner discusses the potential of graphene for energy storage devices and El-Kady demonstrates very flat graphene micro-supercapacitors that may replace bulky capacitors in future electronic devices.

Kaner says in the video “If we could scale this to the size of electric vehicles, then you could actually, instead of pulling into a gas station, you’d pull into a charging station and within minutes, your car will be ready to go.”

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Professor Richard Kaner and postdoc Dr. Maher El-Kady
The video was viewed by more than 200,000 on the NOVA Facebook page.   Kaner earned his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984. After a postdoctoral research position at the University of California, Berkeley, he joined the UCLA faculty in 1987. Kaner is a fellow of the American Chemical Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Materials Research Society. Kaner received the prestigious 2015 Materials Research Society Medal. In 2014, he was selected by the UCLA Academic Senate to present the 115th Faculty Research Lecture and was profiled in the UCLA Newsroom story, “Changing people’s lives — one groundbreaking material at a time.” A native of Egypt, El-Kady received his Master of Science in Physical Chemistry from Cairo University in 2009 and his Ph.D. degree in chemistry from UCLA in 2013. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher in Kaner’s group, a Lecturer of Chemistry at Cairo University, and Chief Technology Officer at Nanotech Energy where he and Kaner are working on converting their graphene supercapacitors research from the laboratory scale to mass production.    Kaner and El-Kady’s research has been highlighted in many prestigious journals and magazines including National Geographic, Scientific American and USA Today.  To learn more about the Kaner group’s research, visit their website. From NOVA by Ari Daniel – Posted 2/2/17

Supercharged Supercapacitors

Supercapacitors run on static electricity and they can recharge and deliver power faster than conventional batteries. Their main drawback is how much energy they can store. But a new technique for making supercapacitors may eliminate that disadvantage and propel them to the forefront of the renewable energy world. NOVA Image

Photo of Kaner and El-Kady by Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry and BIochemistry.