Nanotech used to build batteries out of paper

Stanford researchers build bendable batteries that can be soaked in acid and still hold charge

Researchers at Stanford University have used nanotechnology to create lightweight and even bendable batteries out of paper.

The paper batteries are designed to be folded, crumpled or even soaked in an acidic solution and still work, according to Yi Cui , assistant professor of materials science and engineering, at Stanford. The team created the batteries by coating a sheet of paper with ink made of carbon nanotubes and silver nanowires.

Stanford offered no indication of when the batteries would be ready for commercial use.

"The most important part of this ... is how a simple thing in daily life -- paper -- can be used as a substrate to make functional conductive electrodes by a simple process," said Peidong Yang , professor of chemistry at the University of California-Berkeley, in a statement. "It's nanotechnology related to daily life, essentially."

The nanotubes used in the paper batteries and supercapacitors are one-dimensional structures with a small diameter, which enables the ink made from them to stick tightly to the paper. The university noted that the paper supercapacitors may be able to handle 40,000 charge-discharge cycles, which is an order of magnitude more than lithium batteries can take.

Cui pointed out that the nanomaterials make better conductors than traditional materials because they can move electricity more efficiently.

This is just the latest incidence of scientists using nanotechnology to further battery research.

Last summer, IBM launched a multi-year battery research project using nanotechnology, materials science and supercomputing.

In April, researchers at MIT reported that they are combining nanotechnology with genetically engineered viruses to build batteries that could power hybrid cars and cell phones.

And before that, another team of researchers at Stanford used silicon nanowires to enable lithium-ion batteries to hold 10 times the charge they could before. That means a laptop could last for some 40 hours using the new battery, according to Cui.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags nanotechnologyMITStanford University

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?