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US researchers develop super powerful micro-batteries

Thursday, April 18th 2013 - 15:26 UTC
Full article 46 comments
Bliss professor King of mechanical science and engineering: “a whole new way to think about batteries” Bliss professor King of mechanical science and engineering: “a whole new way to think about batteries”

United States researchers claim to have developed the world's most powerful batteries that can jump-start a dead car and recharge your phone in the blink of an eye.

The micro-batteries are only a few millimetres in size, yet they pack such a punch that a driver could use a cell-phone powered by these batteries to recharge a dead car battery.

Developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the new micro-batteries out-power even the best super capacitors and could drive new applications in radio communications and compact electronics.

“This is a whole new way to think about batteries. A battery can deliver far more power than anybody ever thought” William P King, the Bliss professor of mechanical science and engineering, said.

For applications that need a lot of power, like broadcasting a radio signal over a long distance, capacitors can release energy very quickly but can only store a small amount.

The new micro-batteries offer both power and energy, and by tweaking the structure a bit, the researchers can tune them over a wide range on the power-versus-energy scale.

The batteries owe their high performance to their internal three-dimensional micro-structure. Building on a novel fast-charging cathode design by materials science and engineering Professor Paul Braun's group, researchers developed a matching anode and then developed a new way to integrate the two components at the micro-scale 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.

Top Comments

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  • Stevie

    Wonderful. This is what she should be doing full time, our lost cousin from the north.

    Apr 18th, 2013 - 04:30 pm 0
  • yankeeboy

    Of course, and Stevie we are not related.

    Apr 18th, 2013 - 04:39 pm 0
  • Captain Poppy

    Mmmmm we're cousins now? We both may be the new world, but we are further along, sitting on our coattails will get you no further along either.

    Apr 18th, 2013 - 04:45 pm 0
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