The miniaturization of microelectronic sensor technology, microelectronic robots or intravascular implants is progressing rapidly, however it poses great challenges. One of the main ones is the development of energy storage devices, small and efficient, that allow the autonomous operation of microsystems in increasingly smaller areas of the human body. An international team of researchers has succeeded and created a prototype that combines all the essential properties.
The world’s smallest microsupercapacitors
The breakthrough was achieved by an international research team led by Oliver G. Schmidt, Professor of Materials Systems for Nanoelectronics at Chemnitz University of Technology, initiator of the Center for Materials, Architectures and Nanomembrane Integration (MAIN) at Chemnitz University of Technology and director of the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research (IFW ) in Dresden.
It is worth highlighting the qualified participation of the Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research Dresden (IPF), which acted as a cooperating partner.
This storage system opens up possibilities for intravascular implants and microrobotic systems for next-generation biomedicine, which It could operate in small, hard-to-reach spaces inside the human body.
According to Professor Oliver G. Schmidt, leader of the research group, it is extremely encouraging to see how the new microelectronics, extremely flexible and adaptable, it is coming to the miniaturized world of biological systems.
The fabrication of the samples and the research of the biosupercapacitor was largely carried out at the MAIN Research Center at Chemnitz University of Technology.
Vineeth Kumar, researcher in Professor Schmidt’s team and associate researcher at the MAIN research center, assures that the architecture of nano-bio supercapacitors offers the first potential solution to one of the greatest challenges: small integrated energy storage devices that allow self-sufficient operation of multifunctional microsystems.
The biosupercapacitors (BSC) solution
The ever-smaller energy storage devices in sub-millimeter ranges called nano-supercapacitors (nBSC), pose significant technical challenges.
This is because these supercapacitors they do not use biocompatible materials but corrosive electrolytes, which are quickly discharged in case of defects and contamination and make them unsuitable for biomedical applications in the body.
But biosupercapacitors offer the solution, since they have two outstanding properties: are fully biocompatible which means they can be used in bodily fluids such as blood, and can be used for additional medical studies.
The size of the BSCs is hard to imagine, for they are smaller than a speck of dust.
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