Tech

3D Microbatteries Promise Fast Charging in a Small Package

Batteries are an important component of tech culture as portable devices are becoming more popular and battery technology is straining to keep up. 3D Microbatteries are being developed and will soon be available. This article discusses what 3-D Microbatteries will mean to portable and remote technology.

What are 3D Microbatteries?

Rice University scientists have discovered a way to make batteries smaller and faster charging. The scientists use a method to produce numerous, coated, nano-wires in a very small area. This design is achieved by combining the coated nano-wires technology with a three-dimensional concept of design.

The 3D concept uses existing thin film technology in a 3D array to overcome the thin-film scalability limitation. This limitation is measured by the lithium ion diffusion distance constant. The 3D Microbattery can be made more powerful simply by increasing the length of the coated nano-wires. Increasing the length of the wires obviously creates a larger battery.

 

What will 3D Microbatteries be used for?

These new 3D Microbatteries will find a place in many tech and electronics products. Remote sensors will be made smaller and contain their own power by the existence of the 3D Microbattery. Smart cards and credit cards will have the ability to be self powered.

3D Microbatteries will find their way into all sorts of common devices such as display screens, biomedical equipment and flexible circuit boards. Other uses may include powering micro-motors, nano-robotics, and thinner watches. RFID devices could be directly powered and detected at greater distances.

Ongoing Research

It may be awhile before these 3D Microbatteries leave the lab. The scientists are researching ways to make the 3D Microbattery last longer. The researchers are studying how the Microbatteries expand and contract while operating. The ability for the batteries to expand and contract over time and keep the coating of the nano-wires intact is an important part of the final research.

When ions travel on the wires the expansion and contraction is created. The scientists study the charging and discharging of the batteries using an electron microscope and watch the way the wires react.

 

Conclusion

I can see 3D Microbatteries evolving to the point of possibly including them into integrated circuit components directly. Highly integrated circuit components could benefit greatly by being a self-powered component.

Advances in remote charging technology will also help. Remote charging will make the 3D Microbattery much more useful. Existing remote charging technology may already provide the solution.

Mike Williams, “Better Batteries from the Bottom Up.” media.rice.edu
Julien Happich, “3D microbatteries could charge faster than Li-ion batteries.” eetimes.eu

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