Flexible battery power

March 19, 2007

A paper-like, polymer based rechargeable battery has been made by Japanese scientists. The news is reported in the latest edition of The Royal Society of Chemistry journal Chemical Communications.

With recent advances in the technology of portable electronic devices, there is a demand for flexible batteries to power them.

Drs Hiroyuki Nishide, Hiroaki Konishi and Takeo Suga at Waseda University have designed the battery – which consists of a redox-active organic polymer film around 200 nanometres thick. Nitroxide radical groups are attached, which act as charge carriers.

The battery has a high charge/discharge capacity because of its high radical density.

Dr Nishide said: “This is just one of many advantages the ‘organic radical’ battery has over other organic based materials which are limited by the amount of doping.

“The power rate performance is strikingly high – it only takes one minute to fully charge the battery. And it has a long cycle life, often exceeding 1,000 cycles.”

The team made the thin polymer film by a solution-processable method – a soluble polymer with the radical groups attached is “spin-coated” onto a surface. After UV irradiation, the polymer then becomes crosslinked with the help of a bisazide crosslinking agent.

A drawback of some organic radical polymers is the fact they are soluble in the electrolyte solution which results in self-discharging of the battery – but the polymer must be soluble so it can be spin-coated.

However, the photocrosslinking method used by the Japanese team overcomes the problem and makes the polymer mechanically tough.

Dr Nishide said: “This has been a challenging step, since most crosslinking reactions are sensitive to the nitroxide radical.”

Professor Peter Skabara, an expert in electroactive materials at the University of Strathclyde, praised the high stability and fabrication strategy of the polymer-based battery.

He said: “The plastic battery plays a part in ensuring that organic device technologies can function in thin film and flexible form as a complete package.”

Dr Nishide envisages that the organic radical battery could be used in pocket-sized integrated circuit cards, used for memory storage and microprocessing, within three years.

He said: "In the future, these batteries may be used in applications that require high-power capability rather than high energy density, such as a battery in electronic devices and motor drive assistance in electric vehicles."

Source: Royal Society of Chemistry

Explore further: Chemical vapor deposition enables production of pure, uniform coatings of metals or polymers

Related Stories

New 'designer carbon' boosts battery performance

May 29, 2015

Stanford University scientists have created a new carbon material that significantly boosts the performance of energy-storage technologies. Their results are featured on the cover of the journal ACS Central Science.

CLAIRE brings electron microscopy to soft materials

May 14, 2015

Soft matter encompasses a broad swath of materials, including liquids, polymers, gels, foam and - most importantly - biomolecules. At the heart of soft materials, governing their overall properties and capabilities, are the ...

Researchers develop new way to manufacture nanofibers

May 13, 2015

Researchers at the University of Georgia have developed an inexpensive way to manufacture extraordinarily thin polymer strings commonly known as nanofibers. These polymers can be made from natural materials like proteins ...

Power arm band for wearables harvests body heat

April 12, 2014

(Phys.org) —A group of Korean researchers have turned their focus on supplying a reliable, efficient power source for wearables. Professor Byung Jin Cho of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) ...

Recommended for you

Magnetism at nanoscale

August 3, 2015

As the demand grows for ever smaller, smarter electronics, so does the demand for understanding materials' behavior at ever smaller scales. Physicists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory are building a unique ...

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Study calculates the speed of ice formation

August 3, 2015

Researchers at Princeton University have for the first time directly calculated the rate at which water crystallizes into ice in a realistic computer model of water molecules. The simulations, which were carried out on supercomputers, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.