Scientists have developed a new type of tiny hydrogen battery powered by the breakdown of atmospheric moisture. In the future, this technology Help speed up device charging, extend service life and reduce transmission loss.
In modern gadgets and computing, there are billions of transistors that control an electrical signal, all powered by a single battery. This configuration works well, but when transferring charge from the battery to many components, some of the energy is lost, so there is opportunities for improvement. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology suggest connecting each transistor to its own battery to improve the efficiency of the entire system..
They developed a nano-sized battery that interacts with water molecules in the surrounding air. When moisture comes into contact with the reactive outer metal part of the battery, it separates into H2 and O. Released hydrogen is trapped inside the device, where it is stored until use. The battery is charged in this state..
In order to release energy, the reaction proceeds in the opposite direction. Hydrogen molecules move back through the reactive metal section, where they combine with free oxygen.
At the moment, researchers have created batteries 50 nm thick and have shown that they can be scaled from centimeters to nanometers, as well as given non-standard shapes. This feature allows them to be attached directly to transistors or tiny sensors on flexible substrates..
The invented hydrogen batteries also demonstrated good energy density, which on a per unit volume basis surpasses many batteries in use today..
Scientists have also recently improved the technology for electrolysis of seawater..
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: MIT