Advances in Nanomaterials

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advances in nanomaterials 3D printing of microbatteries Researchers from Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are using 3D printing to create lithium-ion microbatteries about the size of a grain of sand. “Not only did we demonstrate for the first time that we can 3D-print a battery, we demonstrated it in the most rigorous way,” Jennifer Lewis, senior author of the study and Hansjörg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, says in a news release. Researchers built the tiny battery using a custom-built 3D printer with a nozzle narrower than a human hair to layer anode and cathode materials on gold comb contacts. They then encased the electrodes and added electrolyte solution to complete the circuit. The 3D printing process required development of inks with the right electrochemical and hardening properties. The researchers then tested battery storage, power delivery, and charging properties. “The electrochemical performance is comparable to commercial batteries in terms of charge and discharge rate, cycle life, and energy densities. We’re just able to achieve this on a much smaller scale,” coauthor Shen Dillon says in the release. Dillon is assistant professor of materials science and engineering at UIUC. The paper is “3D printing of interdigitated Li-ion Researchers from the Wyss Institute at Harvard University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign used 3D printing to create this microsized lithium-ion battery. microbattery architectures,” published online in Advanced Materials (DOI:10.1002/adma.201301036). n Developers of Specialty Glass and  Custom Ceramics • Hybrids • Discrete Components • Overglazes • Thick Film Pastes • Solar Metallization Pastes • Dielectric & Conductive Paste Additives • Standard & Custom LTCC Formulations • Bioactive Glass Applications • Calcined Mixtures The right glass makes all the difference. American Ceramic Society Bulletin, Vol. 92, No. 6 | www.ceramics.org 11 (Credit: K. Sun, T-S Wei, J. Lewis, S.J. Dillon.)


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