Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Small energy storage devices

Lithium-ion batteries have become everywhere in today's electronics - powering our laptops, phones, and iPods. DARPA is pushing the limits of this technology and trying to make a quantity of the smallest batteries on Earth, the biggest of which would be no larger than a grain of sand.

These small energy storage devices could one day be used to power the electronics and mechanical components of tiny micro- to nano-scale devices.

In Los Angeles an engineer is designing one component of these batteries: the electrolyte that allows charge to flow between electrodes. She presents her results in New Mexico.
  • Coating well-ordered micro-pillars or nano-wires
  • Fabricated to maximize the surface-to-volume ratio, and thus the potential energy density
  • With electrolyte, the conductive material that allows current to flow in a battery.
  • Using atomic layer deposition


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