Saturday, December 11, 2010

Himalayan Feat in Battery Transition

I remember studied batteries in my school days. When I was first introduced to Voltaic Cell and Leclanche Cell, innumerous queries pore into my tiny brain. I used to admire how all these inventions were there on those days. In 210 years the transition of battery formation is from two cubic feet to an anode, a single nanowire one seven-thousandth the thickness of a human hair.

Since the invention of the first battery (or “Voltaic Pile”) in 1800 by Alessadro Volta, batteries have become a common power source for many household and industrial applications. We know about these two types of batteries viz. Primary and secondary batteries with a reference to the storage capacity. In 1866 Leclanche Cell came into existence with Ammonium Chloride as electrolyte with a carbon cathode and Zinc anode. The Chemistry of this cell was later successfully adapted to manufacture of dry cells.

In future when a day arrives that our touch screen smartphone battery will last for longer than a single day, for which we have to thank Jianyu Huang. US based Sandia National Labs researcher who has invented a battery thinner than human hair is the world’s thinnest battery.
This lithium based battery is so tiny that it was baked inside a transmission electron microscope.  These batteries could be used in hybrid cars, laptops and cell-phones. The full episode of this thinnest battery can be had here.