Human Gut-Inspired Smartphone Battery Developed

Posted: Oct 27 2016, 8:59am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 

Human Gut-Inspired Smartphone Battery Developed
This is a computer visualization of villi-like battery material. Credit: Teng Zhao
  • Researchers Develop First Smartphone Battery Inspired by Human Gut
 

Human gut inspires the future of smartphone batteries. A next generation lithium-sulphur battery prototype has been developed resembling the villi found in intestines.

Scientists have successfully developed a new kind of battery for cellphones. The battery can last five times longer than the current ones. What’s really surprising is the inspiration behind the battery.

The lithium-sulphur battery in question was inspired by the villi found in the human gut. The villi are small cells which make up the lining of the human intestines.

The prototype of the next generation battery can be used to power smartphones and even other small electronics. The energy density of the lithium-sulphur battery is five times greater than the lithium-ion batteries currently used in smartphones. 

The prototype has been developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge. The concept of a lithium-sodium battery had been around for some time but was never executed due to a big problem.

Such a battery would easily degrade due to loss of material within it. The team of researchers at Cambridge in collaboration with the Beijing Institute of Technology, was able to successfully avoid the degradation.

They were able to test a lightweight nanostructure made from tiny zinc oxide wires inspired by the villi. The layer of the villi-like structure was placed on surface of the battery electrodes.

The nanostructure kept the fragments in the battery electrochemically accessible, thus the material was made reusable and did not degrade. 

In the human intestine the villi are responsible for absorbing nutrients are digestion by increasing the surface area of the process. The lithium-sodium battery works in the same way.

The nanostructure basically increases the surface area so there is no instant degradation of the electrodes in the battery. The research which led to the production of the villi like nanostructure was led Dr. Vasant Kumarand their results have been published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.

The results of this study are reported in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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