3d Batteries

3D Batteries

Prieto: Batteries don’t sound really flashy, but they are currently what is limiting almost everything that we use. And so I thought that if I could come up with a really good solution to that, I could maybe make a big impact.

Building a three dimensional battery. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Amy Prieto is an associate professor of chemistry at Colorado State University and the chief scientific officer at Prieto Battery in Ft. Collins, Colorado.

Prieto: Your normal battery, anything you carry in a cell phone or a laptop, is really made out of flat sheets that get stacked. So you can think about it sort of like really thick construction paper you’re going to stack. And because those layers are thick, they’re pretty slow in terms of how fast your battery can charge and discharge. And that’s because the chemical species that have to go back and forth between the two layers really have a long way to go. So what we’re trying to build is a very high surface area 3-Dimensional battery where all the pieces are really close to each other so the chemical species that have to go back and forth don’t have to travel that far. It’s exactly the same idea as deciding that you’re going to live very close to where you work. Your commute time will be short.

Prieto: So in theory, when we finish our battery should be able to charge in just a matter of minutes as opposed to hours. But along the way, we wanted to build in a lot of other really practical considerations. We wanted to make it something that was really cheap to make so that everyone could use it. We wanted it to be made out of, ideally, completely non-toxic chemicals. Not only so the battery itself would be safe, but also so that any manufacturing facility that we build will be safe. And we wanted it to last a long time.

Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, presenting Places of Invention, a new exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

3d Batteries

A new kind of battery is safe, affordable, fast-charging and able to last a long time.
Air Date:06/24/2015
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Transcript:

3D Batteries

Prieto: Batteries don't sound really flashy, but they are currently what is limiting almost everything that we use. And so I thought that if I could come up with a really good solution to that, I could maybe make a big impact.

Building a three dimensional battery. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Amy Prieto is an associate professor of chemistry at Colorado State University and the chief scientific officer at Prieto Battery in Ft. Collins, Colorado.

Prieto: Your normal battery, anything you carry in a cell phone or a laptop, is really made out of flat sheets that get stacked. So you can think about it sort of like really thick construction paper you're going to stack. And because those layers are thick, they're pretty slow in terms of how fast your battery can charge and discharge. And that's because the chemical species that have to go back and forth between the two layers really have a long way to go. So what we're trying to build is a very high surface area 3-Dimensional battery where all the pieces are really close to each other so the chemical species that have to go back and forth don't have to travel that far. It's exactly the same idea as deciding that you're going to live very close to where you work. Your commute time will be short.

Prieto: So in theory, when we finish our battery should be able to charge in just a matter of minutes as opposed to hours. But along the way, we wanted to build in a lot of other really practical considerations. We wanted to make it something that was really cheap to make so that everyone could use it. We wanted it to be made out of, ideally, completely non-toxic chemicals. Not only so the battery itself would be safe, but also so that any manufacturing facility that we build will be safe. And we wanted it to last a long time.

Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, presenting Places of Invention, a new exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.