World’s smallest battery can power computer the size of a grain of sand

Deepak Gupta
Deepak Gupta February 22, 2022
Updated 2022/02/22 at 10:29 PM

The concepts of smart dust and electronic dust are not new. Since 1965, predictions have already pointed out that one day electronic components the size of grains of sand would be extremely powerful. Currently, many devices such as nanorobots, biochips and microelectromechanical devices (MEMS) are tiny. Althoughuntil now there were no batteries compatible with the dimensions of such devicesreducing in parts the advantages of its diminutive size.

However, researcher Yang Li and a team of scientists from the universities of Chenmitz and Dresden, in Germany, claim to have managed to manufacture the world’s smallest battery. Research published in the journal Advanced Energy Materials points out that the battery is capable of powering computer chips the size of grains of sand for 10 hours.

Our results show encouraging energy storage performance in the sub-square millimeter scale. There is still huge optimization potential for this technology, and we can expect much stronger microbatteries in the future – Yang Li

swiss roll

To miniaturize the battery to a size comparable to a grain of salt, it was necessary to manufacture it in layers, overlapping the components and coating them with polymeric, metallic and dielectric materials in a semiconductor wafer.

The assembly technique was called Swiss Roll (Swiss Roll) named after the famous rolled cake found in bakeries around the world. The genius of the process is that when stacking the layers, a mechanical tension is generated, which, when released, makes them all roll up in a similar way to the cake.

It is not necessary to apply external forces, and the micro-batteries that self-roll are produced directly on the surface of the insert, which facilitates the entire manufacturing process. The researchers are excited about the results and believe that the world’s smallest batteries will bring many advances to the technology sector.


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Source: Innovation and Technology, Advanced Energy Materials

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