Nano Tech to Revolutionize Battery Efficiency?

Researchers at the University of Maryland have published their work on nanosized batteries in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Nanotechnology. The researchers have had a breakthrough creating a nanopore, a small hole in an ultra thin ceramic sheet, that has all the necessary parts to produce an electrical current. A billion of these tiny batteries could fit on a postage stamp and each one only takes 12 minutes to fully charge.

We were blown away by the performance,” says Eleanor Gillette, co-author on the University of Maryland paper and a doctoral candidate in chemistry.

The miniature batteries could be the answer to numerous energy quandaries which have stumped scientists worldwide. The nano-bateries could pave the way for the development of cheaper and more reliable electric vehicles and renewable energy production. The greatest hindrance to electric cars today is their limited range per single charge.

Developing such batteries will be a significant challenge for the field, and questions remain,” write Paul Braun and Ralph Nuzzo of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

As researchers come closer to making high efficiency and lightweight batteries, market forces may limit the mainstream use of these technologies. Low gas and oil prices have lowered interest in energy alternatives and the materials and techniques used in developing nanoscale batteries are expensive, meaning large-scale production and use of the batteries will not be the norm for quite a while. Some of the initiatives, like work done by a team at Stanford University and Rice University, may be used to create longer lasting batteries which will be on the market in the next 3 to 5 years. Former US Energy Secretary and member of the Stanford University team, Steven Chu has announced that the team’s battery could give an electric vehicle a 300 mile range and triple a cellphone’s battery life.

 

Read More – Tiny Batteries Could Revolutionize Green Energy (National Geographic, Wendy Koch)

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Originally from Gaithersburg, Maryland, Millan is a senior at the George Washington University studying Biological Anthropology.

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