Launching the Microbattery Prototyping Line
Many modern applications in medical technology and many other fields depend on power sources for which traditional button cell or other battery types in the market are either too large or impractical to integrate in new devices. The new microbattery prototype production line at the Fraunhofer IZM in Berlin was opened as part of its mission to develop solutions for autonomous power supplies for the small and miniature sensors in future technology. The patron behind the project, Dr Robert Hahn, and the Institute’s Director, Professor Klaus-Dieter Lang, were proud to inaugurate the new facilities in the presence of invited guests and reporters on March 15th, 2016. At more than 10 metres in length, the new facilities for the development and assembly of microbatteries will be used by the Fraunhofer IZM and the Technical University of Berlin. A precision screen printer, substrate bonding facilities, and microfluidic electrolyte injection allow the presentation of tiny, custom microbattery designs with extreme precision. A first practical application of the microbatteries made by the Fraun-hofer IZM is a new type of hearing aids, developed with the support of the Federal Ministry for Education and Research, which are placed directly on the eardrum and charged by a special infrared in-ear charger. Flexible microbatteries are currently being developed, which will be an excellent option for integration in wearable electronics. The development of innova-tive chip cards will also be accelerated by the new prototypes leaving the microbattery line.