Smallest Battery Built in a Nanowire

A research team led by Professor Pulickel Ajayan at Rice University Houston, Texas has build a complete lithium ion energy storage unit into single nanowire. This will encourage a new generation of nano sized rechargeable batteries.

As published on this month American Chemical Society journal Nano Letters, researchers have tested two versions of battery/super capacitor hybrid batteries.

One version which facilitate to move lithium ions efficiently through the anode to the electrolyte and then to the super capacitor like cathode was built sandwich with nickel/tin anode, polyethylene oxide (PEO) electrolyte and polyaniline cathode layers. This version not only stores the ions in bulk but also gives the battery the ability to charge and discharge quickly.

The second version got the same capabilities as the first but it’s built into a single nanowire. In plain English a nanometer is a billionth of a meter, thousands of times smaller than a human hair.

They have developed centimetre-scale arrays containing thousands of nanowire devices, each about 150 nanometres wide.

These battery cathodes are based on synthesized polymer known as polyaniline (PANI).Drop-coating the widened alumina pores with PEO coats the insides, encases the anodes and leaves tubes at the top into which PANI cathodes could also be drop-coated.

Currently repeated charge & discharge lasts up to 20 cycles. Researchers are constantly fine tuning to improve the batteries to meet real life demands.