Improved batteries for new and existing technologies An EU-funded initiative has resulted in improved rechargeable batteries for a host of modern technology applications. The results could have significant impact on the competitiveness of the European electronics industry. Industrial Technologies © Shutterstock The ‘Nanotechnology for advanced rechargeable polymer lithium batteries’ (Nanopolibat) project was designed to incorporate nanotechnology in the production of conventional lithium polymer batteries to overcome certain inherent technical limitations. Rechargeable lithium polymer microbatteries are used in all sorts of modern technology devices, including mobile phones, laptops and even wireless gaming equipment. In addition, these batteries have potential future use in technologies such as solar energy storage and the powering of smart cards, which are increasingly used in Europe in, among others, the healthcare, banking and airline industries. Thus, the potential market for improved lithium polymer microbatteries is impressive. The researchers set out to enhance the characteristics of such batteries by harnessing nanotechnology and, specifically, by using self-assembly of nanoparticles. The investigators developed new nanomaterials for use in battery electrodes, tested the properties of these materials and demonstrated excellent technical properties as well as improved safety. One compound formulation resulted in a patent award. In summary, the Nanopolibat project resulted in production and testing of several lithium polymer battery materials with improved characteristics based on nanotechnology. Given the plethora of current and future applications relying on such batteries, European industry could have a step up on the competition in a highly lucrative world market.