Batteries that bend and flex will transform electronics, transportation

May 8, 2013

Imagine a TV screen that hangs on the wall like a poster and rolls up like a window shade—or a smartphone that can fold up and fit into a pocket. It may sound like science fiction, but those technological marvels are moving closer to reality, thanks to advances toward development of flexible batteries that could power a new genre of electronics devices. Those polymer, or plastic, batteries are the topic of the cover story in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

Mitch Jacoby, C&EN senior correspondent, focuses on the latest research involving organic polymers, which exhibit the key properties needed for the next generation of batteries. Those batteries will not just be bendable, but powerful, lightweight and made from inherently safe materials. And their uses would extend beyond consumer electronics to include electric vehicles and other transportation applications.

The article explains that lithium-ion technology likely will continue to be the mainstay, but today's flammable, liquid electrolytes need a safety upgrade. To restore lithium batteries' reputation after the recent Boeing 787 Dreamliner safety incidents and other fire-related concerns, scientists are searching for nonflammable, solid electrolytes. Scientists are confident that the obstacles to making flex batteries a reality can be overcome, the article indicates.

Explore further: Toward improving the safety of Lithium-ion batteries

More information: The article is titled "Batteries Get Flexible".

Related Stories

Toward improving the safety of Lithium-ion batteries

December 17, 2007

After recalls and fires involving Lithium-ion batteries, battery manufacturers and scientists have launched an intensive effort to improve the safety of these rechargeable power packs found in dozens of consumer electronics ...

Study paves way for larger, safer lithium ion batteries

January 23, 2013

(Phys.org)—Looking toward improved batteries for charging electric cars and storing energy from renewable but intermittent solar and wind, scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed the first high-performance, ...

US: Lithium batteries not necessarily unsafe

February 6, 2013

The use of lithium ion batteries to power aircraft systems isn't necessarily unsafe despite a battery fire in one Boeing 787 Dreamliner and smoke in another, but manufacturers need to build in reliable safeguards, the top ...

Recommended for you

World gears up for electric cars despite bumps in road

July 26, 2017

Technological advances mean fossil fuel in cars could be phased out within decades but switching to electric carries its own environmental and economic concerns as more and more countries announce radical plans.

Musk, Zuckerberg duel over artificial intelligence

July 25, 2017

Visionary entrepreneur Elon Musk and Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg were trading jabs on social media over artificial intelligence this week in a debate that has turned personal between the two technology luminaries.

Adobe bidding Flash farewell in 2020

July 25, 2017

Adobe on Tuesday said its Flash software that served up video and online games for decades will be killed off over the next three years.

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.