Batteries will be everywhere with nanotechnology

USA Today covers the challenging but environmentally important issue of making batteries: inefficient, nasty things today that need to get a lot better and cheaper. And they will, with nanotech developed by these two MIT professors:

[Prof. Angela] Belcher’s virus-assembled batteries are thin, transparent sheets that look like plastic wrap. They could be used to create smart credit cards or lightweight hearing-aid batteries. Eventually, Belcher hopes to weave battery cells into textile fibers to create battery-powered fabrics. Soldiers might plug night-vision goggles into their uniforms, for example, instead of traditional batteries.

Professor [Yet-Ming] Chiang, who also researches self-assembling batteries, imagines an ink-like substance that would allow one to “paint” a battery onto a device.

As far-fetched as it seems, Chiang is optimistic that such advances are within reach. “We’re not talking about something that’s going to take 20 or 30 years, within the next decade it could very well happen,” he says.

At least one error crept in: nanotechnology is defined as “the science that alters elements at the atomic level”. Oops. —Christine

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