Researchers at MIT have come up with a way to improve the energy density of nonrechargeable batteries that could enable up to a 50 percent increase in useful lifetime, or a corresponding decrease in size and weight for a given amount of power or energy capacity. The new technology could also improve safety, with little or no increase in cost. These batteries play a crucial role in implantable medical devices such as pacemakers. Replacing the battery in a pacemaker or other medical implant requires a surgical procedure, so any increase in the longevity of their batteries impacts the patient’s quality of life.
Other applications could include sensors in tracking devices for shipments to ensure that temperature and humidity requirements are maintained. They may also be used in remotely operated aerial or underwater vehicles that need to remain ready for deployment over long periods of time. Photo: Courtesy of the researchers/MIT