Nanostructured nickel-zinc microbatteries using the Tobacco Mosaic Virus
Gerasopoulos, Konstantinos Dimitriou
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The development of nanostructured nickel electrodes using the Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) for microbattery applications is presented in this Thesis. The TMV is a high aspect ratio cylindrical plant virus that can be used as a template to increase reactive surface area in MEMS-fabricated batteries. Genetically modifying the virus to display multiple binding sites allows for nickel metallization and self-assembly onto various substrates. In this work, the TMV biofabrication technique has been integrated into standard MEMS fabrication processes and novel nickel-zinc microbatteries have been developed using this technology. The nanostructured batteries exhibited appropriate charge-discharge response for up to thirty cycles of operation and demonstrated a six-fold increase in capacity compared to devices with planar electrode geometries. These results, combined with the simplicity and compatibility of the TMV assembly with various MEMS processes, make this approach promising for the development of compact, high-performance small-scale energy conversion devices.