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Printing Tiny Batteries

June 24, 2013 06:59 AM EST By: Jennifer Rocha

Novel application of 3D printing could enable the development 
of miniaturized medical implants, compact electronics, tiny robots, and more

Story content courtesy of Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard, US

3D printing can now be used to print lithium-ion microbatteries the size of a grain of sand.  A team based at Harvard University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign printed precisely interlaced stacks of tiny battery electrodes, each less than the width of a human hair.

The printed microbatteries could supply electricity to tiny devices in fields from medicine to communications, including many that have lingered on lab benches for lack of a battery small enough to fit the device, yet provide enough stored energy to power them.

The work was supported by the National Science Foundation and the DOE Energy Frontier Research Center on Light-Material Interactions in Energy Conversion.

 

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