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21 Feb, 2022 14:27

World’s smallest battery revealed

The device has the potential to address an unsolved problem in microelectronics
World’s smallest battery revealed

The world’s smallest battery, which is the size of a grain of dust, has been unveiled by researchers in Germany, with the potential to power computers anytime and anywhere.

The development has the possibility of addressing two problems that have hampered technological progress: the lack of on-chip power sources and challenges in producing integrable microbatteries. The creation of a tiny battery could boost technological development.

“Our results show encouraging energy storage performance at the sub-square-millimeter scale,” Dr. Minshen Zhu, one of the researchers behind the project, said. Professor Oliver Schmidt, Zhu's colleague, added that “There is still a huge optimization potential for this technology, and we can expect much stronger microbatteries in the future.”

The aim of the project was to find a solution for powering technology as computers and cell phones get smaller and smaller, as people seek out more compact devices that are capable of all the technological abilities of their larger predecessors.

The rechargeable microbatteries produced by the team at Germany’s Chemnitz University of Technology had the ability to power the world’s smallest computer chips for around ten hours. A tiny battery would, therefore, have significant potential for future technologies as devices continue the trend towards miniaturization.

The tiny batteries differ from their traditional cousins, as the smaller versions use standard technology to produce energy while having a significantly smaller footprint. The team’s newly developed device is integrable on a chip but can produce 100 microwatt hours per square centimeter.

The press release from the researchers did not reveal when the technology might be commercially available.