A team of researchers from Harvard University and the University of Illinois have built a battery the size of a grain of sand with the help of 3D printing technology.
The team used a custom printer and ink to develop the battery, which provides enough power to compete with traditional batteries. A one-millimeter wide nozzle on the printer pushed out a paste packed with nanoparticles into a comb-like shape. The printer then took two of the comb shapes and interlocked them. Together, they create electricity.
The printer produces a lithium-ion battery, which is the same type of battery found in cell phones. The microscopic battery could allow engineers to develop much smaller medical implants, wearable technology and robotics such as drones used in the military.