A broader bandwidth for electrical devices

Combining a polymer and microparticles enables a new type of capacitor that could mimic the way the brain processes information.

A simple fractional-order capacitor has been developed by a team from KAUST. Made from a single component, this device expands the range of frequencies that can be achieved by these devices, making them better at energy storage. Traditional analogue components are resistors, capacitors, and inductors. More recently, fractional-order components have gained attention due to their unconventional properties that enable increased flexibility. For example, fractional-order capacitors can temporarily store the signal in a manner that is similar to the behavior of neurons, thus imitating the information processing ability of the human brain. Their uses for electrical devices include filters, to neural circuits, supercapacitors, and batteries.

“Conventional capacitors change the phase angle of sinusoidal electrical signals by -90 degrees only,” explains Agamyrat Agambayev, a researcher in KAUST's Advanced Membranes and Porous Materials Center. “Fractional order-capacitors change the phase angle to any desired value between 0 and -90 degrees.”

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