What is virus-assembled battery? - Definition from WhatIs.com


virus-assembled battery

Part of the Electronics glossary:

A virus-assembled battery is a self-contained, high-density electrical energy source created by a process in which biological viruses assemble inorganic molecules into predetermined structures. The process, conceived and developed by engineers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), involves the manipulation of the genes in a common laboratory virus. This gives rise to organisms that can produce arrangements of molecules capable of functioning as electronic components, particularly sources of direct current ( DC ).

Virus-assembled battery technology is in the early research-and-development phase. Working devices at the consumer level have not been produced although the future of the technology looks promising according to its engineers.

Advantages of the use of biological viruses to "grow" battery materials may include:

  • Precise placement of component molecules.
  • Rapid production of usable material.
  • Evolution of new and inexpensive manufacturing methods.
  • Production of structures that can store more energy than conventional batteries.

Potential applications of virus-assembly technology include:

  • Power supplies for nanoscale systems.
  • Tiny, high-energy batteries laminated to liquid-crystal displays ( LCD s) and microelectronic devices.
  • Inexpensive, efficient photovoltaic cell s.
  • New processes for manufacturing transistor s, integrated circuit s and other semiconductor devices.

This was last updated in July 2006
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms


  • laser

    - A laser is a coherent and focused beam of photons; coherent, in this context, means that it is all one wavelength, unlike ordinary light which showers on us in many wavelengths. The acronym laser s... (WhatIs.com)

  • photon

    - In some ways, visible light behaves like a wave phenomenon, but in other respects it acts like a stream of high-speed, submicroscopic particles. (WhatIs.com)

  • IR LED (infrared light-emitting diode)

    - An IR LED (infrared light emitting diode) is a solid state lighting (SSL) device that emits light in the infrared range of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum. (WhatIs.com)


  • Electronics

    - Terms related to electronics, including definitions about electrical components and words and phrases about computers, laptops parts, digital cameras, televisions and home appliances.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question About virus-assembled batteryPowered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Tech TalkComment



    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.