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Contact: Jason Socrates Bardi
jbardi@aip.org
301-209-3091
American Institute of Physics

Batteries smaller than a grain of salt

WASHINGTON, D.C., (Oct. 19, 2010) -- Lithium-ion batteries have become ubiquitous in today's consumer electronics -- powering our laptops, phones, and iPods. Research funded by DARPA is pushing the limits of this technology and trying to create some of the tiniest batteries on Earth, the largest of which would be no bigger than a grain of sand.

These tiny energy storage devices could one day be used to power the electronics and mechanical components of tiny micro- to nano-scale devices.

Jane Chang, an engineer at the University of California, Los Angeles, is designing one component of these batteries: the electrolyte that allows charge to flow between electrodes. She presents her results today at the AVS 57th International Symposium & Exhibition, which takes place this week at the Albuquerque Convention Center in New Mexico.

"We're trying to achieve the same power densities, the same energy densities as traditional lithium ion batteries, but we need to make the footprint much smaller," says Chang.

To reach this goal, Chang is thinking in three dimensions in collaboration with Bruce Dunn other researchers at UCLA. She's coating well-ordered micro-pillars or nano-wires -- fabricated to maximize the surface-to-volume ratio, and thus the potential energy density -- with electrolyte, the conductive material that allows current to flow in a battery.

Using atomic layer deposition -- a slow but precise process that allows layers of material only an atom thick to be sprayed on a surface -- she has successfully applied the solid electrolyte lithium aluminosilicate to these nanomaterials.

The research is still in its early stages: other components of these 3D microbatteries, such as the electrodes, have also been developed, but they have yet to be assembled and integrated to make a functioning battery.

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The presentation, "Engineering LixAlySizO Thin Films as a Solid Electrolyte for 3D Microbatteries" is at 2:40 p.m. on Tuesday, October 19, 2010.
ABSTRACT: http://www.avssymposium.org/Open/SearchPapers.aspx?PaperNumber=EN+EM-TuA-3

MORE INFORMATION FOR JOURNALISTS

The AVS 57th International Symposium and Exhibition is being held October 17-22, 2010, at the Albuquerque Convention Center, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The meeting includes more than 1,200 talks and posters presented in more than 130 technical sessions. All meeting information, including directions to the Convention Center, can be found at: http://www2.avs.org/symposium/

REGISTRATION -- Staff reporters and professional freelance journalists working on assignment are invited to attend the conference free of charge. Journalist registration instructions can be found at: http://www2.avs.org/symposium/AVS57/pdfs/pressinvite.pdf

PRESS ROOM

The AVS press room will be located in East Lobby of the Albuquerque Convention Center. Press room hours are Monday-Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The phone number there is 408-205-0595. Press Kits containing company product announcements and other news will be available on CD-ROM in the press room. Also access the online press room at: http://www2.avs.org/symposium/AVS57/pages/press57.html

USEFUL LINKS

Complete Program: http://www2.avs.org/symposium/AVS57/pages/tech_program.html
Searchable abstracts: http://www.avssymposium.org/Open/SearchPapers.aspx
Topical Conferences: http://www2.avs.org/symposium/AVS57/pages/tech_topconf.html#EN
Meeting Home Page: http://www2.avs.org/symposium/

PLENARY SESSION

The plenary talk, "Carbon Nanotubes and Single Sheet Graphene," which will be at noon on Monday, October 18, 2010 in Ballroom B of the Albuquerque Convention Center. See: http://www2.avs.org/symposium/AVS57/pages/sessions_lecturer.html

SPECIAL TUTORIALS

AVS promotes communication, dissemination of knowledge, recommended practices, research, and education in a broad range of technologically relevant topics. One way that it does this is by offering special tutorials in areas such as:

- Graphene Tutorial (Sunday, October 17, 2010, 1:00-5:00 p.m.)

- Tutorial on Nanoparticle Characterization and Toxicity: Significant Challenges and Critical Needs (Sunday, October 17, 2010, 1:00-5:00 p.m.)

To access the complete descriptions of these special tutorials, see: http://www2.avs.org/symposium/AVS57/pages/special_tutorials.html

ABOUT AVS

As a professional membership organization, AVS fosters networking within the materials, processing, and interfaces community at various local, national or international meetings and exhibits throughout the year. AVS publishes four journals, honors and recognizes members through its prestigious awards program, offers training and other technical resources, as well as career services.



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