The Telegraph is reporting on the development of super thin batteries, which can operate in extreme temperatures, bend under outside stress, and discharge both like a typical battery or faster like a capacitor. The size and form factor should allow these new batteries to be used in future miniature medical implants.
Along with its ability to work in temperatures up to 150°C (300°F) and down to -70°C (-100°F), the battery can be printed like paper, rolled, twisted or folded, and even works with the help of human blood or sweat, so it could power implanted medical devices.
The battery’s semblance to paper is no accident: more than 90 per cent of the device is made up of cellulose, the same plant cells used in most kinds of paper. “It’s essentially a regular piece of paper, but it’s made in a very intelligent way,” said Prof Robert Linhardt of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, one of the team that outlines the advance in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
To create the battery, the paper was infused with carbon nanotubes, so named because they consist of carbon atoms wrapped into tubes that only measure a few nanometres (billionths of a metre) across the mouth, which act as the battery electrodes and allow the storage devices to conduct electricity.
Using aluminium foil to pick up the current, the device can provide the long, steady power comparable to a conventional battery, as well as a quick burst of high energy typical of a device called a “supercapacitor.”
More at Telegraph…