Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > 3-D printing could lead to tiny medical implants, electronics, robots, more

Photo by Jennifer Lewis

For the first time, a research team from Harvard University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign demonstrated the ability to 3D-print a battery. This image shows the interlaced stack of electrodes that were printed layer by layer to create the working anode and cathode of a microbattery.
Photo by Jennifer Lewis

For the first time, a research team from Harvard University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign demonstrated the ability to 3D-print a battery. This image shows the interlaced stack of electrodes that were printed layer by layer to create the working anode and cathode of a microbattery.

Abstract:
3-D printing now can be used to print lithium-ion microbatteries the size of a grain of sand. The printed microbatteries could supply electricity to tiny devices in fields from medicine to communications, including many that have lingered on lab benches for lack of a battery small enough to fit the device, yet providing enough stored energy to power it.



To create the microbattery, a custom-built 3D printer extrudes special inks through a nozzle narrower than a human hair. Those inks solidify to create the battery's anode (red) and cathode (purple), layer by layer. A case (green) then encloses the electrodes and the electrolyte solution added to create a working microbattery.

3-D printing could lead to tiny medical implants, electronics, robots, more

Boston, MA | Posted on June 18th, 2013

To make the microbatteries, a team based at Harvard University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign printed precisely interlaced stacks of tiny battery electrodes, each less than the diameter of a human hair.

"Not only did we demonstrate for the first time that we can 3-D-print a battery, we demonstrated it in the most rigorous way," said Jennifer Lewis, the senior author of the study, who is the Hansjörg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and a core faculty member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. Lewis co-led the project in her prior position at Illinois, in collaboration with Shen Dillon, a U. of I. professor of materials science and engineering.

The results will be published online on June 18 in the journal Advanced Materials.

In recent years engineers have invented many miniaturized devices, including medical implants, flying insect-like robots, and tiny cameras and microphones that fit on a pair of glasses. But often the batteries that power them are as large as or larger than the devices themselves - which defeats the purpose of building small.

To get around this problem, manufacturers have traditionally deposited thin films of solid materials to build the electrodes. However, because of their ultra-thin design, these solid-state micro-batteries do not pack sufficient energy to power tomorrow's miniaturized devices.

The scientists realized they could pack more energy if they could create stacks of tightly interlaced, ultrathin electrodes that were built out of plane. For this they turned to 3-D printing. 3-D printers follow instructions from three-dimensional computer drawings, depositing successive layers of material - inks - to build a physical object from the ground up, much like stacking a deck of cards one at a time. The technique is used in a range of fields, from producing crowns in dental labs to rapid prototyping of aerospace, automotive and consumer goods. Lewis' group has greatly expanded the capabilities of 3-D printing. They have designed a broad range of functional inks - inks with useful chemical and electrical properties. And they have used those inks with their custom-built 3-D printers to create precise structures with the electronic, optical, mechanical or biologically relevant properties they want.

To print 3-D electrodes, Lewis' group first created and tested several specialized inks. Unlike the ink in an office inkjet printer, which comes out as droplets of liquid that wet the page, the inks developed for extrusion-based 3-D printing must fulfill two difficult requirements. They must exit fine nozzles like toothpaste from a tube, and they must immediately harden into their final form.

In this case, the inks also had to function as electrochemically active materials to create working anodes and cathodes, and they had to harden into layers that are as narrow as those produced by thin-film manufacturing methods. To accomplish these goals, the researchers created an ink for the anode with nanoparticles of one lithium metal oxide compound, and an ink for the cathode from nanoparticles of another. The printer deposited the inks onto the teeth of two gold combs, creating a tightly interlaced stack of anodes and cathodes. Then the researchers packaged the electrodes into a tiny container and filled it with an electrolyte solution to complete the battery.

Next, they measured how much energy could be packed into the tiny batteries, how much power they could deliver, and how long they held a charge. "The electrochemical performance is comparable to commercial batteries in terms of charge and discharge rate, cycle life and energy densities," Dillon said. "We're just able to achieve this on a much smaller scale." Dillon also is affiliated with the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the U. of I.

"Jennifer's innovative microbattery ink designs dramatically expand the practical uses of 3-D printing, and simultaneously open up entirely new possibilities for miniaturization of all types of devices, both medical and non-medical," said Wyss Founding Director Donald Ingber. "It's tremendously exciting."

The work was supported by the National Science Foundation and the DOE Energy Frontier Research Center on Light-Material Interactions in Energy Conversion. In addition to Lewis and Dillon, the paper's authors included lead author Ke Sun, a graduate student in materials science and engineering at Illinois; Teng-Sing Wei, a graduate student at Harvard SEAS; Bok Yeop Ahn, a senior research scientist at the Wyss Institute and SEAS; and Jung Yoon Seo, a visiting scientist in the Lewis group, from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Liz Ahlberg
Physical Sciences Editor
217-244-1073


Jennifer Lewis
617-496-0233


To contact
Shen Dillon
217-244-5622


This release was drafted by
Dan Ferber
Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering
Harvard University

617-432-1547

Other media contact:
Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Caroline Perry

617-496-1351

Copyright © University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

The paper, “3-D Printing of Interdigitated Li-Ion Microbattery Architectures,” is available online:

Related News Press

News and information

Successful boron-doping of graphene nanoribbon August 27th, 2015

Nanolab Technologies LEAPS Forward with High-Performance Analysis Services to the World: Nanolab Orders Advanced Local Electrode Atom Probe (LEAP®) Microscope from CAMECA Unit of AMETEK Materials Analysis Division August 27th, 2015

National Space Society Welcomes Janet Ivey As New NSS Governor: Janet Ivey of Janet's Planet is NOW IN ORBIT as a member of the Board of Governors of the National Space Society August 27th, 2015

Researchers combine disciplines, computational programs to determine atomic structure August 26th, 2015

Developing Component Scale Composites Using Nanocarbons August 26th, 2015

3D printing

These microscopic fish are 3-D-printed to do more than swim: Researchers demonstrate a novel method to build microscopic robots with complex shapes and functionalities August 26th, 2015

Thin films

Electrospray solves longstanding problem in Langmuir-Blodgett assembly: The electrospray spreads water-soluble solvents on water while minimizing mixing August 20th, 2015

Scientists achieve major breakthrough in thin-film magnetism August 17th, 2015

Rice, Penn State open center for 2-D coatings: National Science Foundation selects universities to develop atom-thin materials with industry partners August 13th, 2015

Videos/Movies

High Precision, High Stability XYZ Microscope Stages, with Capacitive Feedback August 18th, 2015

Engineers identify how to keep surfaces dry underwater: Research team is first to identify surface 'roughness' required to achieve amazing feat August 18th, 2015

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

These microscopic fish are 3-D-printed to do more than swim: Researchers demonstrate a novel method to build microscopic robots with complex shapes and functionalities August 26th, 2015

Glitter from silver lights up Alzheimer's dark secrets August 25th, 2015

Southampton scientists find new way to detect ortho-para conversion in water August 25th, 2015

Industrial Nanotech, Inc. Provides Update On Hospital Project, PCAOB Audit, and New Heat Shield™ Line August 24th, 2015

Nanomedicine

These microscopic fish are 3-D-printed to do more than swim: Researchers demonstrate a novel method to build microscopic robots with complex shapes and functionalities August 26th, 2015

Glitter from silver lights up Alzheimer's dark secrets August 25th, 2015

Cervical cancer detection goes portable August 25th, 2015

Louisiana Tech University researchers discover synthesis of a new nanomaterial: Interdisciplinary team creates biocomposite for first time using physiological conditions August 24th, 2015

Discoveries

Successful boron-doping of graphene nanoribbon August 27th, 2015

These microscopic fish are 3-D-printed to do more than swim: Researchers demonstrate a novel method to build microscopic robots with complex shapes and functionalities August 26th, 2015

Researchers combine disciplines, computational programs to determine atomic structure August 26th, 2015

Developing Component Scale Composites Using Nanocarbons August 26th, 2015

Announcements

Successful boron-doping of graphene nanoribbon August 27th, 2015

Nanolab Technologies LEAPS Forward with High-Performance Analysis Services to the World: Nanolab Orders Advanced Local Electrode Atom Probe (LEAP®) Microscope from CAMECA Unit of AMETEK Materials Analysis Division August 27th, 2015

National Space Society Welcomes Janet Ivey As New NSS Governor: Janet Ivey of Janet's Planet is NOW IN ORBIT as a member of the Board of Governors of the National Space Society August 27th, 2015

Researchers combine disciplines, computational programs to determine atomic structure August 26th, 2015

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Successful boron-doping of graphene nanoribbon August 27th, 2015

These microscopic fish are 3-D-printed to do more than swim: Researchers demonstrate a novel method to build microscopic robots with complex shapes and functionalities August 26th, 2015

Researchers combine disciplines, computational programs to determine atomic structure August 26th, 2015

Developing Component Scale Composites Using Nanocarbons August 26th, 2015

Battery Technology/Capacitors/Generators/Piezoelectrics/Thermoelectrics/Energy storage

'Diamonds from the sky' approach turns CO2 into valuable products August 19th, 2015

Drexel engineers 'sandwich' atomic layers to make new materials for energy storage August 15th, 2015

Flexible, biodegradable device can generate power from touch (video) August 12th, 2015

Silicone Nanostructures Increase Capacity, Durability of Lithium Ion Batteries August 7th, 2015

Research partnerships

Announcing Oxford Instruments and School of Physics signing a Memorandum of Understanding August 26th, 2015

Researchers combine disciplines, computational programs to determine atomic structure August 26th, 2015

Developing Component Scale Composites Using Nanocarbons August 26th, 2015

Glitter from silver lights up Alzheimer's dark secrets August 25th, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic