The Impact of Emerging Technologies: Virus-Assembled Batteries – Technology Review

Posted on April 7, 2006 

Virus-Assembled Batteries

More than half the weight and size of today’s batteries comes from supporting materials that contribute nothing to storing energy. Now researchers have demonstrated that genetically engineered viruses can assemble active battery materials into a compact, regular structure, to make an ultra-thin, transparent battery electrode that stores nearly three times as much energy as those in today’s lithium-ion batteries. It is the first step toward high-capacity, self-assembling batteries.

Applications could include high-energy batteries laminated invisibly to flat screens in cell phones and laptops or conformed to fit hearing aids. The same assembly technique could also lead to more effective catalysts and solar panels, according to the MIT researchers who developed the technology, by making it possible to finely control the positions of inorganic materials.

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