University of Harvard, or more precisely, scientists from the university’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, were granted with the Academic R&D Award last week, for their innovative and very successful development of a rechargeable 3D-printed lithium-ion microbattery.
The award was given to Professor A. Lewis and his team, who published their work earlier this year, for their remarkable contribution to the world of printed electronics.
3D-printing technology has had a massive success over the past few years. Almost every day there is a story online that tells about 3-D printed biodegradable underwear, or a shotgun, but it is not so often that we come across a true revolutionary 3-D printed device. This is probably one of the reasons why the incredible microbattery produced by the scientists at Harvard University earned them the prestigious award during the IDTechEx Printed Electronics USA 2013 event in Santa Clara, California.
The device is a tiny battery with a size of a sand grain, which makes it roughly 1000 times smaller than any other rechargeable lithium-ion battery currently available on the market. But the size does not compromise on quality. The microbatteries have the highest area energy and power densities that have ever been reported, due to the high aspect ration anode and cathode micro-arrays structures.
The inventors claim that this device is suitable for various applications, ranging from powering biomedical devices to distributed sensor arrays. It will not be long before the microbatteries become commercially available, given the speed of advancing of this technology. This ultimately means that the bar is set up high, and other research teams will surely follow and come up with more exciting technologies. As soon as one of these hits the news, we will make sure you are one of the first to know.