"Nanopores" are holes in a ceramic sheet that are smaller than grains of salt, and contain enough components to produce an electric current. By connecting a billion of these holes in a "honeycomb fashion," scientists are able to harness enough energy to create a tiny battery that has the ability to recharge thousands of times over. Their microscopic size allows researchers to pack many batteries into a small space, while the battery itself performs quickly by transferring energy across a short distance, again, thanks to its size.
In recent years, the limitations of the lithium ion battery that grew to prominence in the 90s and 2000s has become apparent, and companies continue to strive for a better alternative. The U.S. Department of Energy has even committed funding toward new ways to create energy through chemical reactions. A battery that can charge quickly and last for long periods of time would be a significant step for the Green movement, which has struggled for years to end the oil industry's stranglehold on global energy.