Flexible battery power

Mar 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: New technique reveals immune cell motion through variety of tissues

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Future batteries: Lithium-sulfur with a graphene wrapper

Dec 16, 2014

What do you get when you wrap a thin sheet of the "wonder material" graphene around a novel multifunctional sulfur electrode that combines an energy storage unit and electron/ion transfer networks? An extremely ...

Defects are perfect in laser-induced graphene

Dec 10, 2014

Researchers at Rice University have created flexible, patterned sheets of multilayer graphene from a cheap polymer by burning it with a computer-controlled laser. The process works in air at room temperature ...

Blades of grass inspire advance in organic solar cells

Sep 30, 2014

Using a bio-mimicking analog of one of nature's most efficient light-harvesting structures, blades of grass, an international research team led by Alejandro Briseno of the University of Massachusetts Amherst ...

Recommended for you

'Global positioning' for molecules

Dec 19, 2014

In everyday life, the global positioning system (GPS) can be employed to reliably determine the momentary location of one en route to the desired destination. Scientists from the Institute of Physical and ...

User comments : 0

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.