New microbatteries, developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, out-power supercapacitors and could drive new applications in radio communications and compact electronics.

The devices offer both power and energy. By tweaking their structure a bit, the researchers can tune them over a wide range on the power-versus-energy scale. The batteries owe their high performance to their internal three-dimensional microstructure. Ions flow between three-dimensional micro-electrodes in the lithium-ion battery.

The rechargeable batteries could also enable sensors or radio signals that broadcast 30 times farther.


Also: Learn about self-contained beta batteries.