For flexible computer or smartphone displays, there’s now a flexible battery whose creators say has high-power density and thermal stability.
Until now, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) have been thought of as a leading candidate for a high-performance flexible energy source. However, compliant electrodes for bendable LIBs are restricted to only a few materials, such as organic materials or nano/micro structured inorganic materials mixed with polymer binders.
Another downside to LIBs is that lithium transition metal oxides used as a cathode electrode have to be treated to high temperatures — 700 degrees for lithium cobalt oxide, for example. And it is not possible to fuse the metal oxides at that high of a temperature on flexible polymer substrates.
Researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, by using a universal transfer approach, have developed a flexible LIB structured with high-density inorganic thin films that performs well, according to a press release. The team made the flexible battery by transferring the thin film LIB fabricated on a mica substrate onto polymer substrates, using a high temperature.
“The advent of a high performance flexible thin film batter will accelerate the development of next-generation fully flexible electronic systems in combination with existing flexible components, such as display, memory, and LED,” says Professor Keon Jae Lee from the institute’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
The research team is investigating a laser lift-off technology to help mass-produce flexible LIBs and 3D stacking structures to enhance the charge density of batteries. The summary of the development, “Bendable Inorganic Thin-Film Battery for Fully Flexible Electroic Systems,” was published in Nano Letters.
Source: “A KAIST research team has developed a high-performance flexible solid state battery,” EurekAlert, 8/6/12
Source: “Flexible Battery,” YouTube
Image by Eugene Varnavsky.
Dale McGeehon has been a journalist and editor for more than 25 years, covering chemical regulation and testing for Pesticides and Toxic Chemical News and innovations in material sciences for the National Technology Transfer Center. His writing credits include Omni and College Park magazines and The New York Times.