Microbatteries: 30 times smaller, 1000 times faster charging

Ions flowing between the 3D shapes in the micro-battery

Batteries are by far one of the most important pieces of technology found in electronics today. Unfortunately battery technology hasn't evolved at the same rate as CPUs and memory and graphics and all the rest. As such we're stuck with limited battery life on our very powerful devices. But that may soon be a thing of the past thanks to clever folks at the University of Illinois.

The researchers have published a paper a couple of days ago outlining their work on micro-batteries. Their work is so exciting and promising that it might revolutionize the way we use electronics and make worrying about battery life a thing of the past.

They have developed a special kind of micro-battery which is approximately 30 times smaller than current batteries while offering the same performance. Or reverse that and get 30 times higher performance for the same size. And the battery can be recharged in a very small amount of time being much more similar to a capacitor than to a regular battery.

So how much performance can you get out of this? Well here's a quote from the original article: " The most powerful batteries on the planet are only a few millimeters in size, yet they pack such a punch that a driver could use a cellphone powered by these batteries to jump-start a dead car battery – and then recharge the phone in the blink of an eye."

Of course this has yet to hit any market but the team is working on getting it inside electronics so the future is definitely cool. If you want to read more about the project check out the original article at the source link. You can also read the entire paper outlining the technology here but it will cost you a few bucks.

Source: University of Illinois Via: Pocketnow

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32 Comments

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At some point when these chemical reactions become so strong as to start a car battery, you're risking stability and even dropping it can unsettle the delicate balance, causing a fire or explosion. Just fyi.

SpyderCanopus said,
At some point when these chemical reactions become so strong as to start a car battery, you're risking stability and even dropping it can unsettle the delicate balance, causing a fire or explosion. Just fyi.

...and if that's the case, the technology will be killed long before it stands a chance to get into any consumer's hands. 'cuz, y'know...tewowists.

Awesome, what're we up to now, like...50 different up-and-coming battery technologies that'll be available in 5-10 years?

To be honest, odds are starting to get pretty good that one of them will enter production by accident...

I don't think it should be allowed to report on new Battery technology until it's guaranteed to be out - at the very latest - next year. Literally every year in the past decade I read one of these, hell twice a year and every year I continue to use Alkaline.

Let me guess, this technology is 5 years away? What a joke.

Sure sure, heard it all before, bit like potential cures for Cancer that seem to appear.

Fool me once, shame on me...fool me 78 times, well shame on me again really.

Not buying it.


Idk about yall but im excited about the possibilities of this tech being used in the medical field. They can implant things in your body to keep track of things longer or have smaller pace makers. The uses for smaller more efficient battery tech reaches far beyond just smart phones,smart watches, and computers. Im also curious if this tech is safer to environment.

Every year there's a report about better battery technologies.
And here we are, 60 or something years after the invention of alkaline batteries... And we're still using them! haha.

U of I at Urbana-Champaign is my alma mater. The electrical engineering and materials science departments were both considered one of the top few in the country, if not world, when compared to other universities. That is all fine and good, but these micro-batteries would be a great practical achievement to go along with U of I's early pioneering work in computers (ORDVAC, ILLIAC I, ILLIAC II, etc.).

This is exactly the problem. New Tech will be very expensive, untested and risky. While a new battery technology is needed portable devices are the most reliant however unless people are willing to pay 2 or 3 times the cost of their current handset price (or more) for the luxury of having it last an extra few days it's waiting for any particular technology to mature to be viable.

Not to mention for the manufacturer you have the risk of untested tech problems, exploding batteries etc.

Zagadka said,
I could swear I remember this exact story from years ago...

Seems to be at least one of these stories every year for as long as I can remember. Never once to materialize. Batteries have been the same for 15 years with very little change.

Those projects are basically all forecasts what you could do with graphene. The problem is graphene in 2008 cost $100m to produce a single cubic centimeter of graphene. The amount they can produce and cost of production is rapidly coming down. But I think we are still a few decades away from graphene being used in smartphones. This battery isn't relying on graphene which is interesting, it might hit the market way before graphene batteries.

Come on. For past five years I have been reading reports of a new revolution in battery technology almost every week. But with every new phone the time between recharges is going down, not up!!!

soumyasch said,
Come on. For past five years I have been reading reports of a new revolution in battery technology almost every week. But with every new phone the time between recharges is going down, not up!!!

I actually started my Google plus page so that I can go back and review all the +1's I did on upcoming battery technologies. I don't think any of them will actually be deployed.

Here's one example: http://www.digitaltrends.com/m...re-of-smartphone-batteries/

Lets hope it will be. Smartphones really need a new "battery tech". The day-two use just isn't enough mostly. Sure you can pop the charger in when you go to sleep but there are circumstances when you just can't do that.