Metacapacitors: Printed thin film, flexible capacitors for power conversion applications

Barry Van Tassell, Shyuan Yang, Chengrui Le, Limin Huang, Shuangyi Liu, Paul Chando, Xiaohua Liu, Andrew Byro, Daniel L. Gerber, Eli S. Leland, Seth R. Sanders, Peter R. Kinget, Ioannis Kymissis, Daniel Artemus Steingart, Stephen O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The Metacapacitors project aims to improve efficiency, functionality and form factor of offline power converters suitable for LED solid-state lighting, with a view to developing an attractive technology platform for load management and power conversion across a broad range of applications. Based on integrated switched-capacitor (SC) topologies, the project adopts an integrated approach from materials to devices to circuits. We designed capacitors based on high-κ dielectric nanocrystals, that can be prepared using high-throughput microfabrication/ nanotechnology techniques, ink deposition and multilayering. The capacitor dielectric, a nanocomposite composed of (Ba, Sr)TiO3 nanocrystals in polyfurfuryl alcohol (BST/PFA, κ > 20, 100Hz-1 MHz, loss < 0.01, 20 kHz), targets a high volumetric capacitance density and ripple current capability. The Dielectric is demonstrated to function in a finished capacitor >1000 h at 125°C. The capacitors were board integrated with a custom hybrid-switched-capacitor-resonant dc-dc converter IC. The converter integrates a balanced SC front-end with a series resonant tank, enabling nearly lossless current regulation and tranformerless galvanic isolation. The converter IC can be stacked in the voltage domain to interface a range of inputs. The tested driver delivers about 15 Wat 470 mA to a string of 12 LEDs with 90% peak efficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7130634
Pages (from-to)2695-2708
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Electronics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Capacitors
  • High frequency (HF)
  • Integrated power converter
  • Light-emitting diode (LED) driver
  • Power conversion
  • Printing
  • PwrSoc
  • Switched capacitor circuits


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