Minuscule Printed Batteries

3-D printing has become very popular in all fields of research recently. This is partly due to the materials the devices can utilize including various types of plastics and even specialized living cells. Researchers at Harvard University and the University of Illinois have teamed up and managed to add another material to the growing list that the printers can create with: lithium metal oxides.

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What is the point of printing with lithium metal oxides, you ask? Two words: minuscule batteries. The team has developed the “ink” to create a stacked structure of anodes and cathodes printed on a gold comb which can then be enveloped into a tiny case and filled with an electrolyte solution. The illustration to the right, provided by Jennifer A. Lewis, gives a visual representation of the minuscule battery.

These tiny batteries could be used in a large array of devices that have already been developed but have been put on hold until power cell technology could catch up. These include but are not limited to medical implants, communication devices, robotics and many more. If interested in learning more, check out the full article on Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences website.

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