Chinese developed the world’s smallest battery, with a diameter as small as dust, which can be integrated on the chip to supply power for 10 hours.
About the size of a grain of dust, it can power a microcomputer chip for 10 hours .
That’s right, this is the smallest battery in the world right now, smaller than a grain of salt. But don’t underestimate this “little guy”. Its appearance can be said to open a new outlet for the difficulty of powering tiny electronic devices.
You must know that the smallest computer in the world can now be reduced to less than 1 cubic millimeter , and the application prospects are very broad, such as placing tiny sensors in the human body to detect oxygen levels, check postoperative recovery, and so on.
But past micro-batteries were either not high enough in output power, had limitations on the usage environment, or were not made small enough. As mentioned above, the world’s smallest battery can eliminate these problems in one fell swoop.
It uses a roll-to-roll process similar to Tesla’s batteries , increasing the battery’s minimum energy density to 100 microwatt hours per square centimeter . The research results are currently published in Advanced Energy Materials, and the research team is from Chemnitz University of Technology in Germany.
battery like a swiss roll
There are two major breakthroughs in this research. The first is to use a structural design similar to a Swiss roll to increase the energy density of the battery. The second is that it can be integrated with other circuits on a 1mm² chip, that is, an on-chip power supply.
In other words, while being small enough, the performance should be powerful enough. Therefore, the researchers thought of the winding process battery that has been in fire for the past two years. It can accommodate more battery materials in a limited space.
Previously, Tesla batteries used a similar process, allowing the “4680 electrodeless ear battery” to achieve a 5-fold increase in power, a 16% increase in battery life, and a 6-fold increase in power. This is also different from the microbatteries that used to be stacked, electrode column processes, which are difficult to reduce the battery size below 1mm², and the battery energy density is not high enough.
△The picture above shows the stacking process, and the picture below shows the electrode column process
However, the winding process will have certain difficulties in mass production. Because of this method of rolling up the wafer material, the toughness of the material is required to be higher. To this end, the research team applied layers of polymer material, metal, and dielectric material to the surface of the wafer one by one, and finally made a more ductile material (as shown in Figure a below).
Once the size and energy storage issues are resolved, chipping on a microcomputer becomes less difficult. You know, in the past, the power supply of many microcomputers and sensors either used frequent battery replacement, or added a small “generator”.
These generators can use kinetic energy, solar energy, and thermal energy to generate electricity, but there are restrictions on usage scenarios, such as the human body. The researchers believe that the rechargeable microbattery they developed can solve the above problems very well.
According to reports, using this method, the research team has developed a tiny battery that can power the world’s smallest computer chip for 10 hours. At the same time, this technology can also be applied in robotic systems and ultra-flexible electronic products.
Two Chinese among the corresponding authors
Leading the research was Professor Oliver G. Schmidt, Research Director at the Research Center for Materials, Structures and Nanomembrane Integration (MAIN) at Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany.
Not long ago, he also developed the world’s smallest microelectronic catheter, which can be used for minimally invasive surgery, which has far-reaching significance for eliminating thrombus and targeting drugs.
Minshen Zhu is one of the corresponding authors of this study. He graduated from the City University of Hong Kong with a Ph.D. and is currently working in Professor Oliver’s laboratory.
The other corresponding author is Zhu Feng, a researcher at the Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He graduated from the Department of Physics of Jilin University with a bachelor’s degree, and then studied for a doctorate in polymer physics at the Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
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