Lithium-ion batteries seem to be everywhere: inside your digital camera, powering your cell phone, keeping your laptop humming. They’re also the focus of research at Lancaster-based
, which sees its technology playing an important role in electric vehicles in the not-so-distant future.
Illuminex works in the area of nanotechnology and has developed a type of copper nanowire coated with silicon. Company founder Joe Habib says this composite creates a better anode – the part of the battery where the electric current flows in -- which allows the battery to hold a charge more effectively. Illuminex is designing its batteries to standards set by the auto industry, Habib says.
The state Department of Community and Economic Development
recently gave the business a grant of almost $64,000
toward equipment to test the performance of its new battery technology. The total cost of the project is estimated at $128,000.
Illuminex isn't just developing car batteries, though. The company is also working on a tiny solar-energy storage unit that could be integrated into textiles. These cells could be built into tents supplied to the military, Habib says, and if the tents were used in sun-drenched places like Iraq, they could soak up enough rays to generate their own electricity.Source: Joe Habib, Illuminex
Writer: Rebecca VanderMeulen