DailyTech delivers news that researchers from
Harvard University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have created nano-scale li-ion batteries using 3D printing techniques. The battery is smaller than a grain of sand and is capable of delivering power and holding a charge similar to commercial batteries. The new 3D printed battery may become a great solution for medical implants, as well as future gadgets that require ultra-small batteries.
3D printing consists of "inks" coming out of the printer as a moldable material -- layer by layer -- and quickly hardening into their end forms. With this particular study, it was a bit more difficult because on top of these two requirements, the end result had to have functional anodes and cathodes from the printing process.
To do this, the team used an ink with nanoparticles of one lithium metal oxide compound for the anode and an ink from nanoparticles of another for the cathode. The inks were placed on teeth of two gold combs, which resulted in tightly interlaced layers of anodes and cathodes to form a full stack. From there, the electrodes were placed into a container of electrolyte solution.