Thursday, 21 Oct, 2010 Technology

Lithium-Ion Batteries Smaller than a Grain of Sand


Today nearly all gadgets are powered by lithium-ion batteries, including laptops and cell phone. Scientists from DARPA decided to improve this technology and develop the world's smallest lithium-ion batteries. The largest battery would be smaller that a grain of sand.

In the future the tiny batteries could be used to power different electronics and mechanical parts of small micro- and even nano-scale device.

Jane Chang is an engineer at the University of California, Los Angeles, who is working on one of the components for the new lithium-ion batteries. She is designing the electrolyte that lets charge flow between electrodes. Chang is attempting to reach the same power densities as conventional lithium-ion batteries. "But we need to make the footprint much smaller," she added. In order to reach her goal, Chang teamed up with Bruce Dunn, another researcher from the University.

Despite the fact that a lot of work still needs to be done, researchers already managed to create some of the components of the 3D batteries. These components will have to be put together and integrated in order to create a functioning battery.

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