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NASA working on biological nanobattery

Posted on Saturday, July 21 2007 @ 07:48:37 CEST by

Patent applications reveal NASA is working on a biological nanobattery that uses the iron-containing protein ferritin to carry either a positive or negative charge:
A key problem is how to assemble a battery on such a tiny scale, and a number of research groups have been working on exploiting the way biological molecules self-assemble for this task.

NASA says one promising avenue is exploiting the ability of the iron-containing protein ferritin to carry either a positive or negative charge.

Ferritin also self-assembles relatively easily into a uniform nanolayer. So, the agency says, it is straightforward to create a layer of ferritin and then cover it with another layer of the opposite charge. The result is a capacitor just a few nanometres thick that can store charge between its layers - in other words a battery.

Adding more layers of alternately charged ferritin increases the capacitance of this bio-nanobattery. NASA reckons its battery is not only stable and robust, but can be produced easily and quickly too.
Source: NewScientistTech.



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