Wednesday, July 07, 2010

US Patent 7749646 - Reversibly activated nanostructured battery

In conventional electrolytic batteries contact between the electrolyte and the electrode eventually depletes the electrode material. This patent from Alcatel-Lucent teaches a way to avoid this problem by using a nanostructured pattern to periodically separate the electrolyte and the electrode when the battery is not in use. Claim 1 reads:

1. A battery comprising:

an electrode having at least one surface;

a plurality of nanostructures, disposed on said surface to form a feature pattern on said surface;

an electrolyte liquid in contact with said nanostructures, and

a fluid disposed within said feature pattern, wherein said fluid is controllable to reversibly change a degree of penetration of said feature pattern by said electrolyte liquid.