LITTLE FALLS, N.J., Dec. 21 -- Scientists from mPhase Technologies and Lucent Technologies Bell Labs have demonstrated a working reserve nanotechnology-based battery that could be the prototype for a new generation of batteries that are lighter weight and have very long shelf lives and better storage capacities.
Titled "Reserve Battery Architecture Based on Superhydrophobic Nanostructured Surfaces," the paper detailing the research is published in the current issue of the Bell Labs Technical Journal and was co-authored by mPhase technical staff senior member Victor Lifton and Steve Simon, executive vice president of research and development, with Robert E. Frahm, technical manager in the micromechanics research department at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, N.J.
Four frames from a video recording demonstrate electrically induced transitions between different wetting states of a liquid droplet on a nanostructured substrate. (a) With no voltage applied, a droplet of molten salt formed a highly mobile ball on the 4-µm pitch substrate. (b) With the application of about 22 V, the droplet of molten salt underwent a sharp transition to the immobile droplet state. (c) With no voltage applied, a droplet of cyclopentanol formed an immobile droplet on the 1.75-µm pitch substrate. The unusual square shape of the base of the droplet reflects the underlying symmetry of the nanopost array. (d) With the application of about 50 V, the contact angle of the cyclopentanol droplet dramatically decreased and it filled most of the substrate area. (mPhase Technologies image)
mPhase, a provider of next-generation telecommunications and nanotech solutions, says it is developing a new generation of reserve power cells which could store reserve power for decades and generate electric current virtually on demand. The prototype battery is based on a Bell Labs discovery that liquid droplets of electrolyte will stay in a dormant state atop nanotextured surfaces until stimulated to flow, thereby triggering a reaction producing electricity. This effect can permit precise control and activation of the batteries when required, yielding a very long shelf life. Future batteries based on this technology have the potential to deliver far longer shelf lives and better storage capacities than existing battery technology.
According to mPhase, potential initial applications for this technology may include defense, industrial, health care and consumer electronics. mPhase says it is also targeting the nanobattery for use in technically-improved, lighter-weight battery designs.
Reprints of the journal article can be requested online at: www.mphasetech.com