Mechanical engineers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science and four other institutions have designed a super-efficient and long-lasting electrode for supercapacitors.

In experiments it produced 30 percent better capacitance -- a device's ability to store an electric charge -- for its mass compared to the best available electrode made from similar carbon materials, and 30 times better capacitance per area.

Supercapacitors are rechargeable energy storage devices that deliver more power for their size than similar-sized batteries.

They also recharge quickly, and they last for hundreds to thousands of recharging cycles.

Today, they're used in hybrid cars' regenerative braking systems and for other applications.

Engineers have known that supercapacitors could be made more powerful than today's models, but one challenge has been producing more efficient and durable electrodes.

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