Researchers reveal flexible, stretchable lithium-ion battery

By on February 27, 2013, 5:30 PM

Researchers have announced the development of a stretchable lithium-ion battery that could have countless industry applications, especially with the rising interest in flexible computing across consumer tech and other segments.

By using a process they call "ordered unraveling," John A. Rogers of the University of Illinois and Yonggang Huang of Northwestern University say their battery can be stretched up to 300% of its original size without losing functionality.

Without taking anything away from the device, its design seems fairly straightforward: energy storage islands and "serpentine" wire connections are placed in a sheet of polymer. Naturally, the polymer is flexible and stretchy, while the overlapping squiggly wiring can go along for the ride without being damaged.

Power-wise, the engineers say their solution performs similarly to a standard lithium-ion battery of the same size. It lasts for eight to nine hours and it can be recharged wirelessly, though the current prototype loses some capacity after about 20 recharges, so more research is necessary before it goes commercial.

"An important trend in electronics involves the development of materials, mechanical designs and manufacturing strategies that enable the use of unconventional substrates, such as polymer films, metal foils, paper sheets or rubber slabs," the researchers wrote in paper offered via Nature Communications for $32.

"The last possibility is particularly challenging because the systems must accommodate not only bending but also stretching. Although several approaches are available for the electronics, a persistent difficulty is in power supplies that have similar mechanical properties, to allow their co-integration with the electronics."




User Comments: 13

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JC713 JC713 said:

This is awesome

learninmypc learninmypc said:

I wonder if Boeing will be checking it out

JC713 JC713 said:

I wonder if Boeing will be checking it out

lol

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I wonder if Trojan will be checking it out

learninmypc learninmypc said:

lol

Because of this [link]

Scshadow said:

We're getting closer to electronic paper. I can't wait.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

You could build up quite an electrical capacity if your clothes use this. Maybe your devices won't need large batteries anymore if you're wearing a big one. Knees wirelessly charge laptop, pocket charges cell phone, hat charges Google Glass

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Nice. Now you can sting your buddies behind the ears at school with your cell phone battery if you can't find an elastic band quickly.

dennis777 dennis777 said:

I wish they have research about making the battery last for more than a day of heavy usage.

still this is good news.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

They should integrate solar cells with this tech for self recharging possibilities.

JC713 JC713 said:

I wish they have research about making the battery last for more than a day of heavy usage.

still this is good news.

it is pretty hard to do that. They have a battery that lasts for a large amount of time(a massive amount of time), it is currently in use with the US army. The reason it cant be used with consumers is because it uses a very, very rare material (I forgot if it was a type of metal or what) that is very, very expensive.

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

And will be first showcased 50 years from now!

As much as I love reading about all these new battery tech, how many of them actually reach consumers? I'm still hoping to see all these techs about having triple the capacity and half the size and all these new materials using carbon nanotubes and all sorts of doohickey actually reach the hands of consumers.

JC713 JC713 said:

And will be first showcased 50 years from now!

As much as I love reading about all these new battery tech, how many of them actually reach consumers? I'm still hoping to see all these techs about having triple the capacity and half the size and all these new materials using carbon nanotubes and all sorts of doohickey actually reach the hands of consumers.

Yeah over the past few years all I have seen improved is power consumption of components(CPU,GPU, etc) not really the battery.

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