Nano Science and Technology Institute

R&D Profile: Technologies for Portable Electronics

Energy Technologies for Portable Electronics: Abstract & Next Steps
Jerry Hallmark

Jerry Hallmark

Manager, Energy System Technologies

Motorola, Mobile Devices

NSTI NanoTech 2008 - Abstract

As today’s portable communications devices boast more capabilities to extend mobility, manufacturers are forced to deal with an “energy crisis” for powering these battery-hungry devices. Motorola will discuss its work with several alternative energy technologies, including advanced materials and nanotechnologies, and share best practices for integrating them within various system configurations.


Pt nanoparticles on SWNT electrodes.

Energy – Next Steps

Motorola continues to work in the research and application of fuel cell technology. As one of our key research areas, nanotechnology has the potential to “fuel” future device trends and ensure that handset manufacturers can properly and efficiently power new multimedia experiences.

Using both scientific and engineering approaches, including nanotechnology and engineered nanomaterials, we are developing novel energy technologies to extend the functionality and operating time of portable electronics. We recently worked with Unidym/CNI and Johnson Matthey to utilize Single Wall Carbon Nanotubes as electrodes and high-surface area support for Platinum (Pt) electrocatalysts for fuel cells.

Single-Walled Nanotube (SWNT) technology helps us overcome the power-density, cost and lifetime issues that challenge fuel cell commercialization today. The large surface area and high conductivity of SWNT electrodes allow us to create fuel cells with increased power density. Because we can add more power to smaller surface areas, we can create smaller fuel cells that can be easily integrated into the end applications. The electrodes’ higher power also lower fuel costs by reducing the Pt amounts required to catalyze the fuel cell reaction. With its carbon structure, the SWNT electrodes are more robust and resistant to corrosion and oxidation – reducing performance degradation. Fuel cells using SWNT technology last longer than conventional carbon catalyst supports, allowing them to effectively power battery-hungry devices.

Our research activities are focused on driving seamless consumer experiences and allowing for enhanced communications for our next generation of products and solutions. We are actively working with a variety of alternative energy technologies to identify potential applications for increased energy capacity in future devices.

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