Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Paper batteries?

The University of Stanford has come up with a new idea - paper batteries. According to an article about them:

Simply coating a sheet of paper with ink made of silver and carbon nanomaterials makes an efficient storage device that is 10 times as powerful as lithium-ion batteries used to power laptops.

Paper is a porous material that helps carbon nanotubes and silver nanowire films stick to it, much like ink does.

After it is coated and heated heated the paper becomes super-conductive and works as a battery even if the material is crumpled.

'Taking advantage of the mature paper technology, low cost, light and high-performance energy-storage are realized by using conductive paper as current collectors and electrodes,' the scientists said in research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

. . .

Peidong Yang, professor of chemistry at the University of California-Berkeley, said the technology could be commercialized within a short time.

There's more at the link.

Here's a video clip of the process of making the batteries, and demonstrating them in operation.

Most interesting! If this technology can be perfected, we should see much smaller, lighter batteries than anything presently on the market. In today's electronic world, that can only be useful.



Anonymous said...

Back in electronics school (many, many years ago) we used to make batteries out of lemons. Attach wires to two dissimilar metals (like a copper penny and a steel paperclip), and stick them into the lemon about an inch apart. You'll measure about 0.1 volt, although there isn't much available current. However, if you were to add other lemon cells in series and parallel, then you could build a real battery.

BTW, slice the lemons lengthwise into 8 slices when performing this experiment.

We also performed a similar experiment with using the penny and paperclip on opposite sides of a brown paper towel that was saturated in salt water.


Shrimp said...

Very interesting. Reminds me of another video I saw not too long ago, where a person's clothes were designed to utilize the static electricity build-up to charge or run small devices (such as iPods or watches).

Imagine combinging those two ideas, and one would have an article of clothing that could power small devices and recharge itself!