A ceramic engineering professor at Missouri University of Science and Technology has received a federal patent for his latest innovation, a multi-layer ceramic capacitor that could help boost energy storage in applications ranging from pulse power devices to military hardware.
The new patent − the ninth overall to bear his name and fourth since 2009 related to this research − incorporates nanoparticles made of titanium dioxide into a dense, polycrystalline dielectric layer sandwiched between two electrode layers.
“This material has been very challenging to process,” he says, referring to nanostructured titanium dioxide. “As a dielectric material for capacitors, it can be easily reduced, leading to devices having lower resistivity and high dielectric loss.”
The polycrystalline dielectric layer in Dogan’s device has an average grain size of less than 300 nanometers, and a maximum porosity of about 1 percent. By comparison, the diameter of a human hair is 75,000 nanometers, or 250 times the size of a single nanometer.
“The properties of ceramics − both mechanical and electrical – heavily depend on their microstructural features, such as grain size, porosity, secondary phases and the like,” Dogan writes in the patent application. “It is possible to enhance some desired properties by manipulating the microstructure of ceramics. The invention defines a new and improved nanostructured ceramic material with attractive dielectric properties, such as low intrinsic dielectric loss and high breakdown strength.”
The technology has been licensed exclusively to Presidio Components Inc., a southern California manufacturer of ceramic capacitors for the military and space industry.
“With the issuance of this patent, the entire portfolio of technology developed by Dr. Dogan and others is now protected with four U.S. and one foreign patent,” says Keith Strassner, director of technology transfer at S&T. “Our focus is to identify promising technology and work collaboratively with the inventor, and in this case the licensee, to develop a strong collection of intellectual property. Our original patent filing was in August of 2009, and as the research moved forward, we’ve continued to protect the new and important innovations.”
Dogan, a Missouri S&T faculty member since 2002, received a National Science Foundation grant soon after arriving in Rolla to further his research. He led a team of S&T researchers enlisted by the Air Force Research Laboratory a decade ago to investigate the expansion of power systems with high energy density capacitors.
The Office of Technology Transfer and Economic Development serves as the focal point for technology commercialization, entrepreneurship, business development and economic development at Missouri S&T. Its mission is to grow Missouri’s economy by advancing technology commercialization, encouraging entrepreneurship and promoting business opportunities. Missouri S&T is part of the University of Missouri system. It is Missouri’s premier science, engineering and technology university and one of the top technological research universities in the nation. Additional information about us can be found online at http://ecodevo.mst.edu.