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GLRPPR Sector Resource: Scientists Create World’s Smallest Battery

Scientists Create World’s Smallest Battery

Rechargeable lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries have become the workhorse of the contemporary electronic age, powering everything from cell phones and laptop computers to hybrid electric vehicles. But while superior to many alternatives for electrical energy storage, Li-ion batteries are not optimal in every respect. Despite much progress over the years, their performance and longevity still fall short of ideal. Could nanotechnology be harnessed to improve Li-ion battery performance? That is the premise of a University of Maryland-led Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC), one of 46 such research centers around the Nation established by the DOE Office of Science in 2009 to focus on overcoming basic science challenges on the road to a new energy economy for the Nation. In their effort to understand the behavior of Li-ion battery components at the nanoscale, researchers at the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (CINT)--a scientific user facility located at Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories-- constructed the world's smallest battery inside the high-vacuum sample chamber of a transmission electron microscope (TEM). The multi-disciplinary team included researchers from the Maryland-led EFRC and CINT users from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Pennsylvania. This article includes a citation for a related publication and a link to YouTube video showing the world's smallest battery charging in real time.


U.S. DOE Office of Science

Resource Type:

Date of Publication:
May 16, 2011

Associated Sectors:

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