NASA working on biological nanobattery

Posted on Saturday, Jul 21 2007 @ 07:48 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
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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Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.



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