This new solid-state lithium microbattery could support the development of smaller devices as well as devices with more functionality.

Daphne Allen

February 15, 2024

2 Min Read
Ensurge new lithium microbattery
Ensurge's new microbattery (at left) is shown next to a lithium-ion cell battery.Ensurge

At a Glance

  • The lithium battery utilizes a stainless-steel foil substrate made in a roll-to-roll process
  • The solid-state design features a nonflammable solid-state electrolyte

At IME West 2024, Ensurge Micropower ASA showcased its new lithium microbattery technology for wearables, hearables, and other applications where space is at a premium. Repurposing manufacturing technology originally built for RFID tag production, the company is producing very-thin solid-state rechargeable batteries on roll-to-roll stainless-steel foil.

“Our microbatteries can be half the size of an equivalent traditional lithium-ion coin cell battery and can be mounted directly onto a printed circuit board instead of having to clip on a battery,” Arvind Kamath, executive VP, technology development, at Ensurge, told Design News at IME West 2024. Kamath also spoke during the MD&M West Medical Battery Conference, giving a talk titled, “High Volumetric Energy Density Solid-State Lithium Microbatteries for Medical Wearable Applications.”

The microbatteries support the development of smaller devices as well as devices with more functionality. “Designers have the option of more space, which may allow them to add another sensor to offer more device features,” Kamath said.

The microbatteries utilize a 10-micron-thick stainless-steel substrate, which combined with ultrathin packaging results in the high-volumetric energy density. Ensurge recently earned several patents for such technology. 

Related:Solid-State Batteries: ‘Success Depends on Manufacturability’

In addition to offering a compact footprint, Ensurge’s solid-state batteries also offer enhanced safety. “Conventional lithium-ion batteries use liquid electrolyte, which can be highly flammable, whereas we use a nonflammable solid-state electrolyte,” Kamath said.

They are also fast-charging and can “pulse enough current to serve communication protocols,” he added. “You can charge to 80% of battery capacity in about 20 minutes and reach a full charge in 45 minutes. It is more convenient for consumers.”

Others have manufactured “these kinds of solid-state rechargeable batteries before,” says Kamath, but their widespread use “has been restricted because of their form factor. Our technology is highly manufacturable and therefore affordable because of our architecture, substrate, and roll-to-roll technology."

Ensurge roll-to-roll microbattery manufacturing

Ensurge was previously known as Thin Film Electronics, which developed NFC technology and products. “We reconfigured most of the technology and reapplied it to a market with near-term demand and a need for a differentiated offering.” The company shifted to microbattery development in 2020 and is making the transition to move into full-scale production and planning future expansion.

See Kamath showcase the microbattery technology in the below video from IME West.

Related:Meeting the Critical Needs of the Medical Battery Market

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About the Author(s)

Daphne Allen

Daphne Allen is editor-in-chief of Design News. She previously served as editor-in-chief of MD+DI and of Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News and also served as an editor for Packaging Digest. Daphne has covered design, manufacturing, materials, packaging, labeling, and regulatory issues for more than 20 years. She has also presented on these topics in several webinars and conferences, most recently discussing design and engineering trends at IME West 2024 and leading an Industry ShopTalk discussion during the show on artificial intelligence.

Follow Daphne on X at @daphneallen and reach her at [email protected].

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