Bruce Dunn is a Professor of Materials Science at UCLA’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science. Follow him (video below) around UCLA’s campus as he discusses 3-dimensional batteries and demonstrates fuel cells powered by sugar.
Today’s batteries are two-dimensional, with a layer of anode, a layer of cathode and a layer of electrolyte. Dunn is working in the third dimension, which consists of “an array of pins that are all sort of sticking up in the air. So the area they take up is pretty small, but they go up into a third dimension,” providing more storage space for the chemical energy that will convert to electrical energy.
Dunn says he can build batteries so small they will fit on a semiconductor chip and power incredibly small devices.