Gallery: Tobacco Virus Could Increase Lithium Ion Battery Capacity

 

A team of scientists at the University of Maryland recently announced that a virulent disease that destroys tobacco could enhance the energy capacity of lithium-ion batteries by ten times. The virus, known as tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), not only destroys tobacco, but fruits such as tomatoes and peppers — however the scientists believe that a genetically engineered TMV could be used to bind perpendicularly to the metallic surface of a battery electrode in various but ordered patterns. Using the modified TMV, patterns could be then coated with conductive thin films (such as nickel), effectively increasing the amount of active material that collects lithium ions.

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