3D-printed pinhead battery could power robots

(Credit: Harvard University)

We’ve seen some very sophisticated 3D-printed objects recently, but never a tiny 3D-printed battery — one that’s as small as a grain of sand, no less.

A group of U.S. and Korean researchers has managed to print a lithium-ion microbattery that can fit on the head of a pin.

Although it weighs less than 100 micrograms, it can store as much power per gram as larger Li-ion batteries used in laptops or electric vehicles. It could even power tiny robots or medical devices.

In a paper published in Advanced Materials, Harvard University’s Jennifer Lewis and colleagues describe printing a “3D interdigitated microbattery architecture” with concentrated lithium oxide-based inks.

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