AE researchers’ work on self-healing battery technology has made the list of “Science News of the Year” in technology for 2011.
'Microcapsules full of liquid metal sit atop a gold circuit. When the circuit is broken, the microcapsules rupture, filling in the crack and restoring the circuit.' Graphic by Scott R. White
The research of AE Prof. Scott R. White, AE Affiliate Prof. Nancy R. Sottos, whose home department is Materials Science & Engineering, and Chemistry Prof. Jeffrey S. Moore was included on the Science News list.
Topping the list was the work of University of Illinois MatSE Prof. John A. Rogers and his group on an ultrathin electronic device that can stretch and bend with human skin, opening the possibility that the human body may one day enter the digital world.
According to Science News, the lithium-ion battery that White’s group has developed may improve the life span and safety of today’s energy-storage technologies. Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries power cell phones, laptops and other portable electronics. But, like any batteries, they tend to break down over time.
"There are many different types of degradation that happen, and fixing this degradation could help us make longer-lasting batteries," said White.
More information on the research is available at http://www.ae.illinois.edu/news/article.html?id=1487 .