Smartphones, smart homes, and smart wearables are some of the common terminologies that are used in the current technology-centric world. However, it is a fact that they are still limited by electric power. In the case of battery technology, there have not been many developments for decades. A research by Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute and the University of Surrey have taken a new approach to battery technology and explained how this technology could power machines like wearable devices or connected devices.
A group of scientists from the University of Duke has invented a brand new 3D lithium-ion battery printing method in virtually any form. According to a paper published by ACS Applied Energy Materials, the researchers explain the use of electrolyte solution to enhance the ionic conductivity of the polymers used for 3D printing, such as PLA (polylactic acid); with its presence, they have created lithium-ion batteries with less expensive equipment.
In addition to printing the entire device, the researchers of this study—Christopher Reyes, Benjamin Wiley, and colleagues—have been able to give it various forms which mean that manufacturers of electric vehicles, mobile phones, and laptops will not have to adapt their designs to the size and shape of batteries that are commercially available. They have also increased the electrical conductivity of the battery by including graphene or multi-walled carbon nanotubes in the anode or cathode.
The capability of the first-generation 3D-printed battery is approximately two orders of magnitude lower than the commercial batteries, which are too small for practical use. Therefore, the group of researchers is now working on several ideas to increase the capacity of the device, such as replacing 3D-printable pastes with PLA-based materials.
WMG scientists from Warwick University have invented a new technology that can allow current lithium-ion batteries to be charged up to five times quicker than even the current limits recommended. The technology constantly measures the temperature of a battery much more accurately than either the current tool. They have discovered that present batteries can actually be pushed much beyond their recommended levels without impacting overheating or performance.