Binghamton University Researchers Chosen for NEXUS-NY
By Camila Araujo, Koffman Southern Tier Incubator
Binghamton University researchers have been chosen to participate in NEXUS-NY, thanks to their work on dielectric capacitors, devices used to store electric charge that have applications from radios to heart defibrillators.
BingCap, a team led by Tara P. Dhakal, an assistant professor in BU’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Ganesh Gudavalli, a Ph.D candidate in the same department, will participate in NEXUS-NY, a state competition that provides educational and financial support to teams focusing on clean energy research.
NEXUS encourages teams to come up with a viable business model based off their technology. BingCap was one of 10 selected from more than 50 applications last fall. The researchers said initial feedback on their technology has been positive.
“Through the NEXUS-NY program, we are in touch with a number of industry leaders in a variety of subfields and have received feedback indicating that the properties of our capacitors are very desirable across a wide swath of the industry,” Dhakal said.
The capacitors developed by BingCap have higher-than-average storage capabilities, meaning storage can be increased in a variety of devices that use capacitors.
Dhakal said BingCap’s next-generation supercapacitors, which are significantly smaller for the given value of capacitance, accomplish three important things: maximize the surface area of the electrode, improve dielectric constant and reduce the thickness of the dielectric layer. These parameters, coupled with the nanoengineered techniques used to build the capacitors, ensure increased performance and smaller physical footprints.
In the first phase of the NEXUS-NY, 10 teams conduct various business hypotheses tests and interact with potential customers and industry members. Then, the teams compete for a chance to move on to Phase Two, where prototypes of their proposed innovations are constructed to their determine functionality.
“We’re excited to begin working with this new group of scientists,” said Doug Buerkle, Executive Director, NEXUS-NY. “We have a diverse set of technologies and broad university participation, including from Clarkson, Cornell, SUNY and the University of Rochester.”