In portable computing size, weight, and processing power matter.  One of the things that affect all of those is the battery.  So while we may appear obsessed with them–I just wrote about another battery technology just last month–we do so with good reason.  It can have a dramatic effect on our ability to deliver lighter weight, higher powered devices.

This brings us to yet another new battery solution.  No, not the gooey stuff in your classic chemical battery but a new answer to the old problem.  How do we make these things hold more charge and move that charge quickly? Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne believe they have a “solution” to that problem.

What is it?  Location, location, location.

The old adage about how to have a successful business starts with where you put it.  Well this may apply to the inside of a battery as well.

The researchers said their technology involves involved finding a new way to integrate the anode and cathode — the battery’s electrodes that create power by transferring electrons between them.

“[Our] battery electrodes have small intertwined fingers that reach into each other,” King told the BBC.

“That does a couple of things. It allows us to make the battery have a very high surface area even though the overall battery volume is extremely small.

“And it gets the two halves of the battery very close together so the ions and electrons do not have far to flow,” he said. “Because we’re reduced the flowing distance of the ions and electrons we can get the energy out much faster.”

If it proves effective it would allow devices to operate at higher processing speeds so they could do more in a lighter or even smaller form factor.   If you don’t need to worry so much about battery weight you can either make the device lighter or use that weight to make the device more rugged.   While light is nice, business owners who need rugged power in the field will want to take advantage of the improvement in power and reliability that a faster, sturdier, portable handheld or tablet would provide.  Better batteries could make all the difference.

Image Credit: university of Illinois c/o


P.S. – The Tech Tuesday post is on Thursday this week because we were messing around with the web site in the early part of the week.
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