It consists of a bulk lithium cobalt cathode three millimeters long, an ionic liquid electrolyte, and has as its anode a single tin oxide (Sn02) nanowire 10 nanometers long and 100 nanometers in diameter – that’s one seven-thousandth the thickness of a human hair.
The battery was made inside a transmission electron microscope, allowing the scientists to study it while it was charging:
By following the progression of the lithium ions as they travel along the nanowire, the researchers found that during charging the tin oxide nanowire rod nearly doubles in length. This is far more than its diameter increases and could help avoid short circuits that may shorten battery life. This unexpected finding goes against the common belief of workers in the field that batteries swell across their diameter, not longitudinally.
Link via Geekosystem | Photo: US Department of Energy