Graphene is evidently flourishing in the nanotechnology industry, and it is now taking its steps towards its potency in medical application. Recently, a research team at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has just developed the world’s smallest battery.
Building a battery with a size of just that of a grain of rice is really a big deal, something that could get a major break in the world of biotelemetry. This battery partly consists of fluorinated graphene and has been successfully used to track the development of salmon in rivers. Adding fluoride to graphene improves its electrochemical properties letting it to keep higher voltages and provide discharge that is more effective. Sensors previously used in the experiment have a short-term functioning failing to follow the fish throughout its migration.
Jie Xao, one of PNNL engineers was the designer of graphene-based microbattery. The battery was constructed layer after layer placed on top of each other then coiled like a jelly roll. The layers served as divisions between a lithium-based anode and a fluorinated graphene. In such design, the surface area of the electrodes was maximized without increasing the gross size of the battery. The battery is capable of providing power to a 744-microsecond signal transmitted every three to five seconds for about a month. The development of the microbattery having that capacity took Z. Daniel Zeng’s group three years.
This technology is an important leap for the advancement of medical science, in tracking some aspects of a person’s health, external medicine and implantable medical instrument. These devices typically do not last long enough to meet the required capacity. These issues on designing implantable medical devices can be addressed by this fluorinated graphene-based microbattery produced by the team at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).
When there is going to be a significant development of this microbattery into a reliable component of medical devices, monitoring of internal conditions of patients would be more convenient and more efficient.