Creation of miniature devices is on the rise. Many miniaturized devices like medical implants, flying insect-like robots, sensors, wireless transmitters and tiny cameras have been invented.
|To give you an idea of the scale, this image shows the battery’s electrodes in a 2mm by 2mm square on a glass wafer sitting on a fingertip. (Image courtesy University of Illinois)|
Recently, a team of engineers at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign demonstrated that porous, three-dimensional electrodes can boost a lithium-ion microbattery’s power output by three orders of magnitude, as first reported in Chemical & Engineering News. But now the team has gone a step further, and has optimized the electrode structure with holograms, the three-dimensional interference patterns of multiple laser beams, in order to generate porous blocks that could used as a sort of scaffolding for building electrodes.
The result: a holographic microbattery that’s only 2mm wide and 10 micrometers thick, with an area of 4mm squared, and 12% capacity fade. The researchers said it’s compatible with existing fabrication techniques, and ideal for large-scale on-chip integration with all kinds of microelectronic devices, including medical implants, sensors, and radio transmitters. Batteries like this could power implants small enough to track certain aspects of someone’s health in real time, and without the comparatively vast bulk of existing blood glucose and cardiac monitors, just to cite one example.