October 21, 2010, 11:16 AM — DARPA pushes research projects to shrink lithium-ion battery size to power ultra-small devices.
Medical and nano-engineered products are likely to benefit far sooner than the heavy-batteried laptop in your bag, but DARPA is funding research designed to produce lithium-ion batteries as small as a grain of sand or salt.
At a physics and engineering conference in Albequerque, N.M. last week, UCLA engineer Jane Chang presented early plans to create three-dimensional meshes of nano-wires carefully ordere d to maximize the surface area and power-generating capability, then coating them with solid electrolyte lithium aluminosilicate in layers as thin as a few atoms thick.
That could eventually make all your electronic devices smaller and lighter, but would also make changing them more of a challenge than keeping track of the infinite number of tiny screws that have to come out of the back of any laptop before it will come off.
It will be great when it happens, but i wouldn't start counting on salt-sized batteries any time soon.