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Microbatteries to out-perform supercaps

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 18:36 -- Ruth Williams

Microtechnology has been used to create lithium-ion microbatteries that a research team at the University of Illinois claim will out-perform rivals on energy and power.

The research led by William King, Professor of mechanical science and engineering, is published in the April issue of Nature Communications. The team integrated the anode and cathode to reduce the distance the electrons have to travel, thus increasing the speed at which energy can be released. This also increases the surface area of the battery while the total size remaining small.

"This is a whole new way to think about batteries," King said. "A battery can deliver far more power than anybody ever thought. In recent decades, electronics have gotten small. The thinking parts of computers have gotten small. And the battery has lagged far behind. This is a microtechnology that could change all of that. Now the power source is as high-performance as the rest of it."

The rechargeable microbattery is claimed to give both high energy and high power as well as being bale to rapidly recharge up to 1000 times faster than competing technologies. The research team is now working to integrate the batteries with other electronics components and to lower manufacturing costs.