Spray-On Lithium-Ion Batteries Can Turn Any Surface Into a Battery

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Rice University researchers have developed an unusual type of lithium-ion battery. It is a liquid that can be painted or sprayed onto any surface.

Spray-Painted Li-ion Battery Diagram.

The research team mixed various paints to determine which were best for the construction of the 5-layered components of a lithium-ion battery. Those components are:

  • Two current collectors
  • Cathode
  • Anode
  • Electrolyte/Separator which allows lithium ions to pass through it
After finding the correct materials, the batteries were then sprayed onto surfaces such as glass, flexible plastic, stainless steel, ceramic tiles, and even a beer stein to determine how they would bond to the surfaces.

“In the first experiment, nine bathroom tile-based batteries were connected in parallel. One was topped with a solar cell that converted power from a white laboratory light,” according to Rice University. “When fully charged by both the solar panel and house current, the batteries alone powered a set of light-emitting diodes that spelled out ‘RICE’ for six hours; the batteries provided a steady 2.4 volts.”

The batteries worked and with a consistent capacity, but they also survived 60 charge cycles. which caused only minor deterioration.

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While most people don’t need to spray batteries onto surfaces, this is still a step in the right direction, because manufacturers can now easily integrate lithium-ion batteries into any device of any shape.

A patent has been filed for this new technology. However, as is the case with most new technologies, this cleantech battery option requires much more research and development.

Source: TreeHugger
Photo Credit: Neelam Singh/Rice University

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Nicholas Brown

Has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is: Kompulsa.com.

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