Tuesday, August 26, 2008
By combining microcontact printing and virus-based self-assembly, Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers claimed to have fabricated micron-scale batteries. Using microcontact printing, the batteries can be stamped onto a variety of surfaces. About half the size of a human cell (five microns), the microbatteries could someday power medical implants as well as power a new generation of labs-on-a-chip, MIT said. Genetically engineered viruses were used to assemble layers of the battery material atop an array of posts that were patterned with soft lithography. Once the battery was assembled atop the posts, the assembly was used to print arrays of batteries by transferring the material atop the posts onto a substrate. ' MIT engineers said they fabricated the electrolyte and anode of the micron-sized batteries, two of the three key components of a battery. Next, they will use a second genetically engineered virus to deposit a cathode atop the posts, enabling them to print complete batteries onto even curved surfaces.
Posted by R. Colin Johnson at 10:14 AM