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Technology

Lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable batteries in which lithium ions move between an anode and a cathode. One of the electrodes is made of lithium plus an intercalated material (e.g., lithium / transition metal oxide). The properties of these intercalated materials determine the voltage, capacity, and stability of the battery, making them an important part of the optimization process. This lithium-ion battery features an electrode that is generated by bacteriophage particles. The bacteriophage is genetically engineered to express peptides that can bind various metal ions. Exposing the phage particles to metal ions results in bonds that facilitate the formation of metal oxide (e.g., cobalt oxide) nanowires. These nanowires form a patterned monolayer of cobalt oxide that is structurally supported by the bound viruses. The monolayer is “grown” on top of an electrolyte and can be patterned to take on a variety of shapes and sizes. The virus-based lithium-ion battery features increased capacity in addition to being lightweight, flexible, and transparent.