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.
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
- Electrolyte/Separator which allows lithium ions to pass through it
“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.
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.
Photo Credit: Neelam Singh/Rice University