Wednesday, May 6, 2009

ST Develops Ultra-thin Lithium Batteries for Micropower Devices

STMicroelectronics has signed a commercial agreement with Front-Edge Technology (FET), a California-based developer of next-generation rechargeable batteries, enabling ST to bring FET's NanoEnergy ultra-thin lithium battery technology to a wide range of new markets and applications.

The new devices leverage solid-state thin-film technology to store energy for "micro-power" devices, such as high-end 'One-Time-Password' smartcards; battery-assisted RFID (Radio-Frequency ID) tags; wireless sensor networks; real-time clock (RTC) back-up batteries; and multiple medical applications, including hearing aids, automatic insulin pumps and wearable health monitoring systems.

The companies said a key advantage of the ultra-thin solid-state battery technology is its physical flexibility, enabling different sizes and shapes of "bendable" batteries, as thin as 200 microns. Additionally, the battery's solid electrolyte is Lithium Phosphorus Oxynitride (LiPON), a material originally developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratories. This enables the thin-film FET technology, in comparison with a device with equivalent energy storage capacity, to deliver in the range of 10 to 20 times more power than existing state-of-the-art coin-cell batteries.

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