Fractals and Self-Complementarity Aim for Better Batteries

May 11, 2017 by Paul Shepard

Today's world is run on batteries, and keeping batteries going is a major technical challenge. For decades battery improvements have been 'recipe' driven, searching for exotic compounds to improve capacity and lifetime. Now, Fractal Antenna Systems (Fractal) reports a new approach with invention of batteries that have greater performance through geometry, using fractals and self-complementarity.

Fractals are self-similar patterns that have the same simple structure built up on many scales. Self-complementarity is a technique where a structure is defined by its own outer mask—with the same structure. These geometric methods, in math, science, and art, have long been enjoyed in popular culture through the artist M.C. Escher, and the mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot.

Inventor and Fractal CEO Nathan Cohen describes the battery benefits simply: “Fractals make the electrodes smaller and batteries higher capacity, and self-complementarity curtails the fingering that creeps through the electrolyte and destroys the battery.” The new invention has been awarded patent 9,647,271 and discloses electrodes for electrochemical batteries with self-complementary and fractal geometries.

Cohen is the world’s top expert on engineering applications of fractals, and is the source inventor on fractal antennas and components, fractal metamaterials, fractal plasmonic surfaces and radiative near-field transfer, fractal heat exchange, fractal energy harvesting, fractal radar decoys, electromagnetic deflector shields, and the invisibility cloak.

Cohen notes that the patent disclosure also discusses application to batteries by nuclear processes, which are being reviewed by the patent office. ”If LENR makes a compelling case as a practical physical process, then this would be the technology that it needs. I am objective but skeptical. This patent grant is for electrochemical batteries.”

Cohen further notes the need for self-complementary and fractal batteries has become acute, and key aspects have been verified, with wide publicity, by researchers at Cambridge University, and Australia. “Such efforts, though second-ran, amount to independent corroboration. I am happy to have the priority, the validation, and be the source inventor.”

Fractal will be undertaking further battery experiments and development this Summer as it negotiates with partners. “We will be working with firms that are in a position and have the commitment to take the technology to market for the benefit of all,” concluded Cohen.