3D-Printed Lithium-Ion Battery Is the Size of a Pinhead
Harvard University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and visiting researchers from South Korea have demonstrated the ability to 3D print a pinhead-sized battery. These interlaced and stacked electrodes were printed layer by layer to create the working anode and cathode. (Source: Jennifer A. Lewis/Harvard University)
Thanks for the info, vimulkumarp. When you say it could be used in implantable devices, I assume that pacemakers and implantable defibrillators would require too much energy for this technology, right?
The scale is extremely small, but new barriers are being broken all the time in this field. According to the Harvard press release at the link you give, the team custom designed both the inks and the 3D printers and did so because thin-film battery electrode production methods didn't produce enough energy.
I'm not really sure about that, Ann...I will have to get back to you on the 3D printing method used. I imagine it was pretty tricky printing something so small! Would some methods be more appropriate for this type of thing?
I agree, shehan. It's getting into the realm of the ridiculous nearly when you think of all the things being 3D printed. NASA is even 3D printing things in space! Pretty incredible. Let's see what they think of next!
@Elizabeth – I think now its high time for us to ask the question "What cant the 3D printer print?". I think this is one of the best innovations for the past decades. What more could we expect from technology.
This sounds like quite a breakthrough, Elizabeth. What are the 3D printing method and materials they used? The mention of "inks" sounds like it might be a thin-film printed electronics method, such as that used by Optomec in its conformal electronic printing. http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=265097
But that's printed 3D electronics, not 3D printing.
Researchers have been working on a number of alternative chemistries to lithium-ion for next-gen batteries, silicon-air among them. However, while the technology has been viewed as promising and cost-effective, to date researchers haven’t managed to develop a battery of this chemistry with a viable running time -- until now.
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