in Technology

The Smallest Battery has a Big Future!

Though the advancement of electronic devices & breakthrough gadgets has been advancing progressively; the battery technology still is a few steps behind the other. In the coming years, one can expect their laptops, cars, mobile phones and any other devices running on battery to be replaced by something which is more handy & small in size. This dream is possible to envisage due to a group of researchers engaged in creating new evolution in the battery technology domain.

They have successfully produced the World’s Tiniest Battery. A team headed by Jianyu Huang, a researcher at Sandia National Laboratories, carried out the experiment at the Center for Integrated Nanotecnologies (CINT), where they already got insight of a working battery, which holds key to the future smaller and efficient battery.

The world’s tiniest battery speciality is that it is lithium-based rechargeable battery. The thickness of the battery is almost equal to the one seventh-thousandth of a human hair. It comprises of three millimeters long lithium cobalt cathode bulk, an ionic liquid electrolyte, and its anode single tin oxide (Sn02) nanowire is 100 nanometers in diameter as well as 10 nanometers lengthy.

As the nanowire was lithium-ion-based, it helped the researchers to gain an understanding of working of the battery. They practically got to observe the transmission of charging and discharging of the battery at atomic scale resolution. This basic information of the working of the battery is a great insight in order to make an advance nano battery. This experiment was possible because the researchers created the battery within a transmission electron microscope (TEM), which helped them to study the working of battery in real-time.

By following the evolution of the lithium-ions while they pass through by the nanowire, the researchers discovered that throughout charging the tin oxide nanowire rod almost increases two-fold in length. Jianyu Huang suggests, the manufacturers of battery to take this elongation of the battery in consideration.

The study also concludes that nanowires are good battery electrodes as they can withstand large stress (>10 GPa) stimulated by lithiation without weakening or breaking. Whereas the atomic-scale test of the charging as well as discharging procedure of a single nanowire was not possible earlier because of the eminent vacuity in a TEM. It made the procedure hard to utilize a liquid electrolyte. Huang’s team surmounted this problem by a low-vapor-pressure ionic liquid, basically molten salt used in the vacuum environment. Though the experiment was executed by using tin oxide nanowires, it can be extended to further materials systems, both for anode or cathode studies.

The whole experiment and new evolution of the battery is a big step towards better and advanced technology. It’s a delight to know that finally some researchers are trying to create an efficient and small battery than some mobile or electronic device companies which try to come up with low power consumption battery. Whereas the mobiles phones, cars and laptops are getting multi-tasking, it’s necessary to create new technology to cope to its user which needs more power and battery life.

Don’t you think so?