Small batteries can power small robots. (Photo: Shutterstock/EugenP)
Small batteries can make a big impact. They can command small robots that search for survivors in earthquake zones, for example. The researchers made a breakthrough.
Small batteries and accumulators are still a challenge for science today, and the main problem is achieving high power and energy density in such a small space. This would make it possible, for example, to drive small robots efficiently.
That’s exactly what scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have succeeded in doing. The team can produce durable, compact lithium batteries with extremely low fill ratio and high energy and density.
In earlier designs of small batteries, the battery size was dominated by the packaging, leaving little room for the electrode area. This, in turn, leads to a decrease in battery power and performance.
In order to get more power and energy for small batteries, the research team developed a new packaging technology. This has resulted in the positive and negative current collectors being installed directly in the package to save space.
In addition, electrode cells are arranged vertically in series. This has the effect of adding cell voltage, allowing for higher operating voltages.
Another secret to the performance of mini batteries is their electrodes. Conventional electrodes consist of about 40 percent polymer and carbon additives. However, the research team’s electrodes were made specifically for microbatteries without polymer and carbon.
This results in a higher density of electrodes, which in turn results in more energy.
Arghya Petra, one of the first authors of the study, summarizes: “Until now, electrode engineering at the nanoscale and micro-scale and cell designs have been limited to energy-dense designs at the expense of porosity and volumetric energy density. Our work has been successful in creating a small-scale power source that exhibits high energy density.” and volumetric energy density.
The new small batteries can then be used to power tiny robots that can, for example, crawl under rubble in earthquake zones and search for survivors. Because with new batteries you get more power and longer battery life.
Sungbong Kim, another senior author of the study, concludes, “Our work bridges the knowledge gap at the intersection of materials chemistry, unique material fabrication requirements for energy-dense planar battery configurations, and applied microelectronics that require an onboard high-voltage power source to drive microactuators and microactuators.” “
“Total coffee aficionado. Travel buff. Music ninja. Bacon nerd. Beeraholic.”