Posts Tagged 'Carbon Nanotubes'

Paper Batteries

New Batteries Made From Paper, Nanotube Ink.

In a story on the New York Times (12/9, Mandel) website Greenwire reports, “Ordinary office paper coated with an inky layer of carbon nanotubes or nanowires can make a lightweight, flexible and highly conductive battery or superconductor, according to Stanford University researchers.” The researchers “had previously experimented with making batteries using a similar process of painting nanomaterial ink onto a thin layer of plastic,” but discovered “that pores in paper fibers make it hold the ink better than plastic, for a more durable battery.” According to the scientists, “the conductive paper could be used in lithium-ion batteries in place of metallic components, where its light weight and scalability would provide an advantage over technologies now in use.”

        BBC News (12/9) reports, “A team of researchers at Stanford University started with off-the-shelf copier paper” that is painted “with an ‘ink’ made of carbon nanotubes,” and “is then dipped in lithium-containing solutions and an electrolyte to provide the chemical reaction that generates a battery’s electric current.” This method “could reduce the weight of batteries… by 20%,” according to the researchers. In addition to being “capable of releasing their stored energy quickly,” a Stanford researcher “said the most important aspect of the demonstration was that paper is an inexpensive and well-understood material – making wider usage of the technology more likely.”

        Clay Dillow writes in Popular Science (12/8) that the technology “could bring paper right back around to its former place of prominence, using it to power the very digital devices — smartphones, Kindles, laptops, etc. — that are increasingly replacing print.” Dillow adds that “the paper battery technology is basically market-ready. That’s not to say that researchers won’t need some time to iron out the kinks, but power sources based on this technology could be commercialized very soon compared to a lot of the nano-noise circulating in scientific circles.” The article also includes a video clip of Stanford’s Yi Cui explaining the device. Technology Review (12/9, Bourzac) also reports the story.

Reposted from ASEE First Bell for 12/8/09

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