The first-ever 3D-printed battery is less than 1mm wide

Autore: ExtremeTech

ExtremeTech readers know by now that new battery tech is always promising and perpetually just over the horizon, but never quite seems to be attainable. Harvard just added to that field by 3D printing a lithium-ion microbattery that could be used to power devices in a number of markets, such as medicine.

As phones and other consumer devices are getting bigger, a microbattery may seem like a silly prospect for the consumer market, but a host of other equipment could greatly benefit from tiny batteries. Minuscule sensors on wearable computers — such as Google’s Glass – could benefit from even smaller batteries providing them with power. Small medical implants could become a more feasible solution to ailments if they can maintain power through the use of microbatteries, rather than using batteries that are roughly the size of the implants themselves.

In order to make a battery so small, the Harvard and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign team used a 3D printer to create tiny stacks of battery electrodes. Each electrode is thinner than a strand of human hair. The battery is of the standard lithium-ion variety, so with it comes all of the faults and benefits of lithium-ion, rather than a new source extended power.

The custom 3D printer employed by the team uses special inks that are electrochemically active, and harden into cathodes and anodes once extruded from the printer’s nozzle. The anodes and cathodes were printed in a pattern similar to a common comb, then a case and electrolyte solution were added as finishing touches. The overall battery measures in at a width of less than one millimeter.

In the above video, you can plainly see the 3D printer’s nozzle methodically building the battery layer-by-layer, and quite quickly as well, demonstrating that mass production may not be too difficult.

As for performance, the team claims that the 3D-printed microbatteries are comparable to the larger lithium-ions in our devices, but in terms of scale. The discharge and recharge rates are proportionally similar, as well as the batteries’ energy density and life cycle. Since the microbattery is similar in terms of scale but isn’t on the same scale as, for example, the battery in your phone, it doesn’t last nearly as long or provide as much power. However, if scaled up to the size of your phone, it’d seemingly provide a similar service to your phone’s current battery.

For now, though — like most amazing improvements in the field of battery tech — there’s no word on when this 3D-printed microbattery might hit the market, or be incorporated into some kind of consumer device.

Now read: New sulfur-based battery is safer, cheaper, more powerful than lithium-ion

Research paper: doi: 10.1002/adma.201301036 – “3D Printing of Interdigitated Li-Ion Microbattery Architectures”

9 thoughts on “The first-ever 3D-printed battery is less than 1mm wide

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    csoa ne pensate?

  2. Mi sapete consigliare un buon monitor tv?
    Io ero indeciso tra questi due, ma se ne avete altri dite pure, basta che siano a led e 23-24 pollici.

    Il primo è anche in 3D ma non l’ho scelto per quello visto che non lo userò mai.
    Ahahah princess95 sono sicuro che la tua risposta non è stata data solo per guadagnare 2 punti.

  3. Salve a tutti, dovrei comprarmi un nuovo Pc e sono un po’ indeciso tra questi 2 modelli più o meno recenti:
    -HP Pavilion DV6-6099EL ( )
    -Samsung RC530 ( )
    Qui un confronto superficiale ed il prezzo ( )

    Il Pc lo uso principalmente per Elaborazioni grafiche ( anche 3D ) e raramente per giocare.

    Consigliatemi secondo la vostra esperienza e conoscenza.

  4. aiutatemi…il mio xp non riconosce le porte usb..ho fatto un’analisi con everest per darvi nel dettaglio le caratteristiche del mio pc e potermi aiutare a trovare i driver giusti per risolvere il problema.grazie a tutti

    ——–[ EVEREST Home Edition (c) 2003-2005 Lavalys, Inc. ]————————————————————

    Versione EVEREST v2.20.405/it
    Home page
    Tipo report Creazione guidata report
    Computer PC01 (massimo)
    Creato da user
    Sistema operativo Microsoft Windows XP Professional 5.1.2600 (WinXP Retail)
    Data 2010-01-19
    Ora 14:30

    ——–[ Riepilogo ]—————————————————————————————————

    Sistema operativo Microsoft Windows XP Professional
    Service pack Service Pack 3
    DirectX (DirectX 9.0c)
    Nome computer PC01 (massimo)
    Nome utente user

    Scheda madre:
    Tipo processore Mobile , 2000 MHz
    Nome scheda madre Acer Aspire 5100
    Chipset scheda madre ATI Radeon Xpress 200M, AMD Hammer
    Memoria di sistema 1280 MB (Registered DDR SDRAM)
    Tipo BIOS Phoenix (10/15/07)

    Scheda video:
    Adattatore video ATI Radeon Xpress Series (256 MB)
    Adattatore video ATI Radeon Xpress Series (256 MB)
    Acceleratore 3D ATI Radeon Xpress 200M (RS482M)
    Schermo Generic Television

    Periferica audio ATI SB450 – High Definition Audio Controller

    Controller IDE Controller standard PCI IDE
    Controller SCSI/RAID ENE PCI Memory Stick Card Reader Controller
    Controller SCSI/RAID ENE PCI Secure Digital / MMC Card Reader Controller
    Controller SCSI/RAID ENE PCI SmartMedia / xD Card Reader Controller
    Unità disco TOSHIBA MK6034GAX (55 GB, IDE)
    Unità ottica PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-K16RS
    Stato dei dischi fissi SMART OK

    C: (NTFS) 26364 MB (12926 MB disponibili)
    D: (NTFS) 30859 MB (9572 MB disponibili)
    Capacità 55.9 GB (22.0 GB disponibili)

    Periferiche di input:
    Tastiera Tastiera standard 101/102 tasti o Tastiera Microsoft Natural PS/2
    Mouse Mouse compatibile PS/2

    Rete locale:
    Adattatore di rete Atheros AR5005G Wireless Network Adapter (
    Adattatore di rete Realtek RTL8139/810x Family Fast Ethernet NIC
    Modem HDAUDIO Soft Data Fax Modem with SmartCP

    Stampante Canon MP160 Printer
    Stampante Microsoft XPS Document Writer
    Controller USB1 ATI SB450 – USB Controller
    Controller USB1 ATI SB450 – USB Controller
    Controller USB2 ATI SB450 – USB 2.0 Controller
    Batteria Batteria a metodo di controllo compatibile ACPI Microsoft
    Batteria Scheda AC Microsoft

  5. datemi qualche opinione su questo cellulare cosa ne pensate e se possa essere un buon telefono! in altri cellulari nokia ho riscontrato il problema che dopo aver salvato molti messaggi inviati o ricevuti mi si bloccava il cell sapete darmi speigazioni su questo problem? e secondo vuoi capita anke nel nokia e52? grazie in anticipo a tutti! =)

  6. Ciao a tutti,sto cercando dei fornitori (possibilmente in Italia o almeno in Europa) di stampanti 3D,non capisco il perchè ma sono difficili da reperire ed è altrettanto difficile riuscire a vedere uno straccio di prezzo su un sito,se qualcuno di voi quindi ne conoscesse uno in cui è possibile reperirne una,magari anche economica mi farebbe un grande favore,grazie
    Adrian N
    è un mese che lo faccio e ottengo quei siti XD
    solo che da lì non si compra una cippa,non sono europei,non danno nemmeno un prezzo e non sono economiche.
    ho fatto questa domanda nella speranza di trovare qualcuno che ne ha già acquistata una che mi desse suggerimenti su dove cercare…grazie comunque dell’aiuto ^^

  7. Ecco le caratteristiche del mio pc:
    Tipo computerPC basato su x86 ACPI
    Sistema operativoMicrosoft Windows 7 Enterprise
    Service pack[ TRIAL VERSION ]
    Internet Explorer8.0.7600.16385
    DirectXDirectX 11.0
    Nome computerSIMONE-PC
    Nome utenteSimone
    Dominio[ TRIAL VERSION ]

    Scheda madre
    Tipo processoreAMD Athlon 64, 2200 MHz (11 x 200) 3700+
    Nome scheda madreMSI MS-7184 (Amethyst-M) (3 PCI, 1 PCI-E x16, 4 DDR DIMM, Audio, Video, LAN)
    Chipset scheda madreATI Radeon Xpress 200, AMD Hammer
    Memoria di sistema[ TRIAL VERSION ]
    DIMM1: Samsung M3 68L6523CUS-CCC512 MB PC3200 DDR SDRAM (3.0-3-3-8 @ 200 MHz) (2.5-3-3-7 @ 166 MHz)
    DIMM2: Samsung M3 68L6523CUS-CCC[ TRIAL VERSION ]
    Tipo BIOSAward (01/12/06)
    Porta di comunicazioneECP Printer Port (LPT1)

    Scheda video
    Adattatore videoNVIDIA GeForce 6200SE TurboCache(TM) (64 MB)
    Adattatore videoNVIDIA GeForce 6200SE TurboCache(TM) (64 MB)
    Acceleratore 3DnVIDIA GeForce 6200SE TurboCache
    SchermoHP VS19X [19″ LCD] (CNC5443126)

    Periferica audioRealtek ALC658 @ ATI SB400 – AC’97 Audio Controller
    Eh Mi potrestii dire anche la scheda madre che non me ne intendo??

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