March 13, 2012 00:49 by Jeremy
NEC's unveiled their newest prototype of their Ultra-thin organic radical battery (ORB) today, measuring in at 0.3 mm. These batteries are not only small, but also flexible, and can be attached to integrated circuit (IC) cards. The IC cards themselves aren't too think either (measuring around 0.73 to 0.76mm thickness on average).
The power behind NEC's latest ORB is enough to match a Li-Ion battery. That's not to say that it'll run your laptop, but ratio-wise, it delivers a higher power output and faster recharging speeds. Currently, these new batteries have a capacity of 3mAh, which should be enough to perform 2,000 display screen updates, 360 consecutive flash firings and 35 location transmissions on just one charge. As far as longevity, these ORB's retain 75% of their charge/discharge capacity even after 500 cycles, similar to the performance of Li-Ion smartphone batteries.
December 9, 2010 00:18 by Jeremy
A group of researchers led by Professor Reza Ghodssi at the University of Maryland's A. James Clark School of Engineering, and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, are using the properties of TMV (Tobacco mosaic virus) to help create smaller, more efficient lithium ion batteries.
The virus? TMV is a rod-shaped plant virus that attacks tobacco, tomatoes, peppers, and other vegetation. According to the university's press release, the researchers, "mofify the TMV rods to bind perpendicularly to the metallic surface of a battery electrode and arrange the rods in intricate and orderly patterns on the electrode. Then, they coat the rods with a conductive thin film that acts as a current collector and finally the battery's active material that participates in the electrochemical reactions."
The result? Bigger electrode surface area and an increase in storage capacity. This allows a faster charge/discharge time, and gives up to 10 times increased capacity in comparison to your regular Li-Ion battery.
The usage? Professor Ghodssi provides two examples: the first shows the creation of a very miniscule battey that can be used to power wireless sensors networks. These sensors can monitor homeland security, agriculture, and the surrounding environment. A different proejct that Ghodssi's team is working on, focuses on creating increased-sensitivity explosive detection sensors, by using TMV to bind to TNT. (Author's note: Ironically, those two uses seem quite opposite from each other.)
No tomatoes were harmed in the making of this blog post. However, regular Li-Ion batteries are scared to go out of business: adopt one today (not for free) at ebatts.com.
Source: UMD's press release
October 21, 2010 00:42 by Jeremy
In latest news, scientists have dug deeper into the mystery of why lithium-ion batteries degrade over time. The answer, they currently believe, lies in nanoscale changes in the anode and cathode. Giorgio Rizzoni, along with colleagues at the Ohio State University, experimented with batteries that had finished their working lifespan. "We can clearly see that an aged sample versus and unaged sample has much lower lithium concentration in the cathode." In essence, the lithium had actually combined wtih the anode material, making it unavailable for transfer.
With the use of infrared thermal imaging, researchers were able to discover that the electrodes on dead batteries had nanomaterials that had coarsened in size. It is these finely-structured nanomaterials on the electrodes that allow the battery to charge and discharge. Though not yet proven, researchers are suspect that it is this cathode-coarsening that may be responsible for the loss of lithium.
If that theory turns out to be true, it could be a scientific breakthrough, as researchers and scientists could then use that information to create longer-lasting durable lithium ion batteries. This affects not only our electronic devices with laptops, digital cameras, and cell phones, but could also affect the future of gasoline-powered vehicles.