Documenting the Coming Singularity

Monday, September 01, 2008

MIT engineers work toward cell-sized batteries

Microbatteries could power tomorrow's miniature devices

MIT News - August 20, 2008 by Elizabeth A. Thomson

Forget 9-volts, AAs, AAAs or D batteries: The energy for tomorrow's miniature electronic devices could come from tiny microbatteries about half the size of a human cell and built with viruses.

MIT engineers have developed a way to at once create and install such microbatteries -- which could one day power a range of miniature devices, from labs-on-a-chip to implantable medical sensors -- by stamping them onto a variety of surfaces.

In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) the week of Aug. 18, the team describes assembling and successfully testing two of the three key components of a battery. A complete battery is on its way.

"To our knowledge, this is the first instance in which microcontact printing has been used to fabricate and position microbattery electrodes and the first use of virus-based assembly in such a process," wrote MIT professors Paula T. Hammond, Angela M. Belcher, Yet-Ming Chiang and colleagues.

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