Researchers at Rice University have published details of a novel, nanowire-based rechargeable lithium ion energy storage unit which could potentially be used to power future generations of tiny medical devices and sensors. The technology, which was described in last month’s Nano Letters, comprises centimeter-wide arrays incorporating thousands of the nanowire devices, each about 150 nanometers wide. At a height of 50 microns, the team’s experimental batteries are similar in diameter to a human hair.
Theoretically, the nanowire batteries can be as long and wide as the templates allow, which also makes them scalable. Currently, the researchers are fine tuning the fabrication process to improve the batteries’ performance which currently deteriorates after 20 complete recharging cycles. It will be interesting to see how these advances in nano-technology will move into medical technology fields in the future. Let’s just hope we are not seeing the beginnings of a future army of earth-consuming nanobots.
Story link: Rice builds nanowire battery …
Abstract in Nano Letters: Building Energy Storage Device on a Single Nanowire