Our Technology

An Overview

In 2012, Dr Highgate and Jim Heathcote were joined by Nigel Spence, former Finance Director. The team planned and then implemented a research programme to develop biocompatible, electrically conducting hydrophilic polymers which had the potential to be used in Bioelectronics.

Since then, Superdielectrics has developed exceptional technology involving patented electrolytes and polymers, as validated by Surrey and Bristol universities, which have the potential to transform the performance of existing supercapacitors. Supercapacitors are used in applications requiring frequent rapid charging/discharging, as against long-term energy (battery) storage — in automobiles, buses, trains, cranes and elevators, respectively, for regenerative braking, short-term energy storage, or burst-mode power delivery.

Compared with a battery, supercapacitors can offer many key advantages, notably:

The ability to charge and discharge rapidly (in seconds)

Much greater longevity, as supercapacitors, unlike batteries, which depend on chemical reactions, degrade only very slowly and consequently have a significantly longer operating life

Key Properties

Electrically conducting
Low Cost (hydrocarbon based)
Light weight + Flexible
Corrosion resistant

Commercial Development of Simple Hydrophilic Materials

Contact Lenses

Between 1968 and 1980 Dr Highgate developed the materials for extended wear contact lenses and his company became a major supplier of hydrophilic blanks and finished lenses to the UK market.

 

Commercial development of ionically conductive hydrophilic materials

In the 1990s Dr Highgate successfully modified the original ‘contact lens’ materials and added a further property of ionic conductivity. This is now a core technology for hydrogen fuel cells and electrolysers.

 

Commercial development of electrically conductive hydrophilic materials

The research programme to develop biocompatible electrically conductive hydrophilic polymers began in 2014.

This programme was expanded to include the additional property of optical transparency. The addition of this new optical property added the potential to make a contact lens with the ability to display the internet. The company was originally named and registered as Augmented Optics Ltd.

Throughout the research programme the materials exhibited very unusual electrical properties. In mid-2016 test-samples were sent to Professor David Fermin, Bristol Electrochemistry group, for independent analysis. He reported: “When tested in devices with simple carbon electrodes ……the devices were characterised by geometrical capacitances three or four orders of magnitude larger than the geometrical capacitances of carbon electrodes in conventional electrolyte solutions.”

 
 
“These outstanding electrochemical properties can be exploited in the development of high energy density supercapacitors….These performances can open a real prospect for commercial exploitation in the short term.”   Hydrophilic ionic site (IS). Electrical site (ES) [SO3]. Bound water molecule. Free water molecule.

Supercapacitor Opportunities

The existing market for supercapacitors is estimated at c.$US3bn. This includes a wide range of uses, such as transport, construction, aerospace, the static energy sector and electronic devices.  

The Directors believe the Company’s supercapacitors have the potential to be utilised in various industries including, but not limited to:

  • Ground Transportation
  • Renewable Energy
  • Static Energy Storage
  • Aerospace
  • Consumer Products
  • Industrial Tools
  • Marine
  • Mobile Electronics
  • Space
  • Medical

 

Evolution of Hydrophilic Materials

The company has established that these superdielectric materials could translate into game-changing, commercially viable products, offering a step change in performance compared to existing electrical energy storage technology. In June 2018, the first chemically stable, non-metallic pouch cell devices were built using industrially available electrode materials and containment systems.

Extremely Valuable Intellectual Property

Surrey & Bristol Universities validate technology, and
announce discovery of Superdielectric Materials December 2016

Superdielectrics’ mission is to develop high energy density, low cost, low environmental impact electrical energy storage devices that will help create a clean and sustainable global energy and transportation system.

This is now feasible due to the Company’s discovery of superdielectric materials working with scientific teams from the Universities of Bristol and Surrey. Bristol University has confirmed that our superdielectric materials have capacitance values 1,000-10,000 times higher than existing conventional electrolytes. A supercapacitor using these materials has the potential to compete with the energy density of lithium ion batteries.