Microbattery Extreme High Performance

Microbatteries are now in a prototype stage that out-perform traditional batteries in all of the parameters that are important to users. High-power lithium ion microbatteries recharge very quickly, and can discharge either very slowly or very quickly; best of all, they are very small in size.

(Microbattery diagram)
Ions flow between three-dimensional micro-electrodes
in a lithium ion battery.

The batteries owe their high performance to their internal three-dimensional microstructure. Batteries have two key components: the anode (minus side) and cathode (plus side). Building on a novel fast-charging cathode design by materials science and engineering professor Paul Braun’s group, King and Pikul developed a matching anode and then developed a new way to integrate the two components at the microscale to make a complete battery with superior performance.

With so much power, the batteries could enable sensors or radio signals that broadcast 30 times farther, or devices 30 times smaller. The batteries are rechargeable and can charge 1,000 times faster than competing technologies – imagine juicing up a credit-card-thin phone in less than a second. In addition to consumer electronics, medical devices, lasers, sensors and other applications could see leaps forward in technology with such power sources available.

“Any kind of electronic device is limited by the size of the battery – until now,” King said. “Consider personal medical devices and implants, where the battery is an enormous brick, and it’s connected to itty-bitty electronics and tiny wires. Now the battery is also tiny.”

Microbatteries could have a great impact on all kinds of devices, not all of them to be carried in your pocket. Alfred Bester, in his award-winning 1956 novel The Stars My Desination, envisioned an operation that would augment the nervous system of a man to improve performance. The operation

...had transformed him into an extraordinary fighting machine. Every nerve plexus had been rewired, microscopic transistors and transformers had been buried in muscle and bone, a minute platinum outlet showed at the base of his spine. To this Foyle affixed a power pack the size of a pea and switched it on. His body began an internal electronic vibration that was almost mechanical...
(Read more about the internal body power pack)

From High-power lithium ion microbatteries from interdigitated three-dimensional bicontinuous nanoporous electrodes via Illinois News Bureau.

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