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Researchers Create Powerful Microbatteries

A University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign research team has successfully developed new microbatteries that are reportedly the most powerful ever documented. A microbattery is a solid state electrochemical miniaturized power source that could be used in small items such as medical devices or RFID tags. This new technology could be used to create new compact radio-communications and electronics applications such as lasers, sensors, and medical devices. The millimeter-sized batteries provide both high power and high energy, where, with conventional battery technologies, there is a tradeoff between the two. Typically, capacitors release energy very quickly but can only store a small amount of energy while fuel cells and batteries are able to store a great deal of energy, but release or recharge slowly. These high-performance batteries contain a fast-charging cathode with an equally high-performance, microscale anode. Researchers say they can tune the battery such that it has the optimal power and energy capabilities for the specific application. The new technology could be used in transmitters able to broadcast radio signals able 30 times farther than conventional technology, the researchers said. These small batteries could also reportedly recharge 1000 times faster than conventional technologies, they added. The scientists are now working on lowering their batteries’ cost and integrating them with other electronics components. They published their results in the journal Nature Communications. (EurekAlert)(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

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