Scientists have successfully 3D printed a Lithium-ion battery about the size of a grain of sand. This is truly amazing, with this kind of technology we can make batteries with many times the capacity of current day batteries, on the same size, or even smaller. It also has the potential to revolutionize nanotechnology.
Usually with devices on this scale the batteries are several times larger than the device itself. It is the perfect companion for all the nano devices being developed these days.
This type of microbattery will be incredibly useful for example in the field of medicine.
The scientists realized they could pack more energy if they could create stacks of tightly interlaced, ultrathin electrodes, the electrodes are smaller than the width of a human hair.
“Not only did we demonstrate for the first time that we can 3-D-print a battery, we demonstrated it in the most rigorous way,” said Jennifer Lewis, Ph.D., senior author of the study.
Next, they measured how much energy could be packed into the tiny batteries, how much power they could deliver, and how long they held a charge. “The electrochemical performance is comparable to commercial batteries in terms of charge and discharge rate, cycle life and energy densities. We’re just able to achieve this on a much smaller scale,” Dillon said.
“Jennifer’s innovative microbattery ink designs dramatically expand the practical uses of 3-D printing, and simultaneously open up entirely new possibilities for miniaturization of all types of devices, both medical and non-medical. It’s tremendously exciting,” said Wyss Founding Director Donald Ingber, M.D., Ph.D.