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Small in size, big on power: New microbatteries the most powerful yet

Posted on April 17, 2013
This graphic illustrates a high-power battery technology from the University of Illinois. Ions flow between three-dimensional micro-electrodes in a lithium ion battery. Credit: Beckman Institute/University of Illinois

This graphic illustrates a high-power battery technology from the University of Illinois. Ions flow between three-dimensional micro-electrodes in a lithium ion battery. Credit: Beckman Institute/University of Illinois

Though they be but little, they are fierce. 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.

Developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the new microbatteries out-power even the best supercapacitors and could drive new applications in radio communications and compact electronics.

Led by William P. King, the Bliss Professor of mechanical science and engineering, the researchers published their results in the April 16 issue of Nature Communications.

“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.”

Read more at: Phys.org

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