Shells Inspire Nano-battery Research For Cell Phones, PDAs

An MIT materials scientist's research on sea snails has helped transform battery technology and may end the era when cell phones die if they're dropped and PDAs must be replaced if they get dunked in the tub.

Thanks to those sea snails and a eureka moment, Angela Belcher, Germeshausen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Biological Engineering, is developing smart nano-materials--hybrids of organic and inorganic components--beginning with a rechargeable, biologically based battery that looks like plastic food wrap.

Belcher's eureka moment occurred 10 years ago; it arose from her long, delighted fascination with abalone, the sea snail, and from her willingness to ask a wide-open question, "What if?"

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