World’s first power source of its kind is as small as a grain of sand.

Harvard and University of Illinois scientists have created a custom-made 3D printer that has the capacity to print microbatteries.

The batteries are made of interlaced stacks of electrodes less than the width of a human hair and printed through a very narrow opening. The inks had to be developed with the correct electrochemical properties to enable immediate hardening upon release.

The microbatteries are thought to be comparable in performance to commercial ones in terms of charge and discharge rate, cycle life and energy density. The inventors believe that this product could help in the development of microelectronics such as medical implants and robots that mimic insects.

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