Batteries smaller than a grain of salt on the anvil

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Washington, Oct 20 (ANI): Batteries smaller than a grain of salt may soon become a reality, as scientists are trying to create some of the tiniest batteries on Earth.

These tiny energy storage devices could one day be used to power the electronics and mechanical components of tiny micro to nano-scale devices.

Jane Chang, an engineer at the University of California, Los Angeles, is designing one component of these batteries: the electrolyte that allows charge to flow between electrodes.

"We're trying to achieve the same power densities, the same energy densities as traditional lithium ion batteries, but we need to make the footprint much smaller," said Chang.

She's coating well-ordered micro-pillars or nano-wires-fabricated to maximize the surface-to-volume ratio, and thus the potential energy density-with electrolyte, the conductive material that allows current to flow in a battery.

Using atomic layer deposition-a slow but precise process that allows layers of material only an atom thick to be sprayed on a surface-she has successfully applied the solid electrolyte lithium aluminosilicate to these nanomaterials.

The other components of these 3D microbatteries, such as the electrodes, have also been developed, but they have yet to be assembled and integrated to make a functioning battery.

The results were presented at the AVS 57th International Symposium and Exhibition in New Mexico. (ANI)

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