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November 12, 2014

Big things come in little packages: world’s tiniest battery unveiled

Several millions of them could be packed into a single larger battery the size of a postage stamp.

By CBR Staff Writer

Researchers at the University of Maryland have invented a battery, which they claim is so tiny that several millions of them could be packed into a single larger battery the size of a postage stamp.

The invention of a structure called ‘nanopore’ led to the eventual miniaturisation of energy storage components, researchers added.

Nanopore is a small hole within a ceramic sheet, integrating an electrolyte that transfers electrical charge between nanotube electrodes at either end.

University of Maryland materials science & engineering Ph.D. student Chanyuan Liu noted: "It can be fully charged in 12 minutes, and it can be recharged thousands of time."

Nanopores

Furthermore, the similar shape of each nanopore enables the strong binding together of the tiny thin batteries.

Researchers also noted that the space within the holes is so little that the overall space captured when put together still does not exceed a grain of sand.

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The new unit is expected to boast great potential as its size enables effective stuffing of the tiny thin batteries together.

Researchers said: "The existing device is a test, but the bitsy battery performs well."

The next step in the US Department of Energy funded project is to commercialise the tiny batteries by manufacturing them in massive lots.

Earlier, researchers from Nanyang Technology University (NTU) developed lithium ion batteries that can charge up to 70% in just two minutes and can last up to two decades.

Image: Nanopores integrate electrolyte to carry the electrical charge between nanotube electrodes at either end. Photo: courtesy of University of Maryland.

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