BTRY for Battery

"It is time to rethink battery technology."

Moritz Futscher, CEO of BTRY

What is BTRY?

Today, I am going to bring a new technology, and a new company, to your attention – a company in control of a technology so powerful that lithium-ion batteries could soon become yesterday’s story. I should stress that nobody at Absolute Return Partners has any financial interest in this project – neither in the company, nor in the technology. This letter is merely the result of years of frustration on my behalf, coming from all the shortcomings of lithium-ion batteries – the type of battery used in almost all devices that require a rechargeable battery.

The company I want to introduce you to is called BTRY (pronounced “battery”) which is located in Dübendorf, Switzerland. It has spun off from the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (aka Empa) with an ambition to develop the battery technology of the next generation.

The underlying technology

Three Empa researchers, Abdessalem Aribia, Yaroslav Romanyuk and Moritz Futscher, have brought the new technology with them to BTRY. The battery is a lithium-based, thin-film, solid-state battery. It is based on a technology first developed all the way back in the 1980s but, for many years, the battery didn’t attract much commercial interest, as only small amounts of energy could be stored in it.

The thin-film technology developed at Empa differs from the thin-film technology developed in the 1980s in one important aspect – the thin-film cells are now stacked on top of each other (Exhibit 1). That has dramatically improved the performance of the battery.

The thin-film cells are manufactured, using a procedure called vacuum coating. The materials are atomised in a vacuum chamber to form individual atoms, which are then deposited in a precisely controlled layer on the target substrate. According to Moritz Futscher, “such manufacturing methods are currently used on a large scale in the production of semiconductor chips and glass coatings. That’s an advantage for us, because the machines and know-how to manufacture our battery are largely in place already.” (source: