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Print 18 comment(s) - last by JonnyDough.. on Aug 14 at 11:31 PM


Nanocomposite paper infused with carbon nanotubes  (Source: Rensselaer/Victor Pushparaj)
Batteries disguised as black paper could be a future power source

The current cutting edge of battery power for mobile devices is with lithium polymer batteries, thanks to flexibility in different packaging shapes. The battery of tomorrow, however, may not only be lightweight, thin and flexible, but may also appear to be a plain sheet of paper.

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute recently published finding of a new energy storage device made almost entirely of the same cellulose found in ordinary paper. What sets this new device apart from the everyday item is that the paper is infused with carbon nanotubes, which act as electrodes.

Details of the paper battery are explained in the article “Flexible Energy Storage Devices Based on Nanocomposite Paper” published August 13 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“It’s essentially a regular piece of paper, but it’s made in a very intelligent way,” said the paper’s co-author, Robert Linhardt. “We’re not putting pieces together – it’s a single, integrated device. The components are molecularly attached to each other: the carbon nanotube print is embedded in the paper, and the electrolyte is soaked into the paper. The end result is a device that looks, feels, and weighs the same as paper.”

The battery’s physical attributes make it an attractive technology for mobile devices such as cell phone, or for weight-sensitive applications such as aircraft. The battery may be shaped into different forms without affecting efficiency, and sheets may be stacked to boost capacity.

As the battery’s electrolyte, the researchers used a liquid salt. As an alternative, the battery may also be activated by the electrolytes found in human secretions and fluids, making the paper-thin battery a prime candidate for being implantable inside the body.

“It’s a way to power a small device such as a pacemaker without introducing any harsh chemicals – such as the kind that are typically found in batteries – into the body,” noted co-author Victor Pushparaj.

As proof of their concept, the researchers have manufactured a postage stamp-sized paper battery that can power a small fan or LED light.



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Paper cut ... OUCH!!
By Houdani on 8/14/2007 11:03:38 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
As the battery’s electrolyte, the researchers used a liquid salt.
What a cruel and evil thing for them to do. Cut your finger and then rub some salt in the wound.

/ShakesFistAtEvilSaltLacingPaperMakers




RE: Paper cut ... OUCH!!
By BladeVenom on 8/14/2007 2:27:18 PM , Rating: 2
Getting carbon nanotubes under your skin would be even worse. Just look at the picture; they're using gloves when they hold it.


RE: Paper cut ... OUCH!!
By Treckin on 8/14/2007 8:18:25 PM , Rating: 2
nah, the nanotubes are bonded to the paper in an organized manor, they're not just sluffing off the cellulose like hot butter *rolls eyes*


RE: Paper cut ... OUCH!!
By GoatMonkey on 8/14/2007 2:52:05 PM , Rating: 2
Watch out for the lemon juice based ink.


Getting interesting
By DragonMaster0 on 8/14/2007 10:13:57 AM , Rating: 2
Batteries that you can dispose of easily! - Or not???

quote:
a postage stamp-sized paper battery that can power a small fan

What can a letter-size sheet power then? :o




RE: Getting interesting
By Garreye on 8/14/2007 10:16:39 AM , Rating: 4
A small fan for a lot longer...


RE: Getting interesting
By DragonMaster0 on 8/14/2007 10:21:17 AM , Rating: 2
Sure?


Heat dissipation
By Misty Dingos on 8/14/2007 10:41:43 AM , Rating: 4
Stacking a lot of paper together is great insulation. Could the weak link in this concept be that your battery over heats every time you make a call? I like the rather benign components of construction don't get me wrong. It would be nice to be able to insulate your house with batteries that charge throughout the day from solar panels on the roof. Can you say off the grid?




RE: Heat dissipation
By Xerstead on 8/14/2007 5:13:46 PM , Rating: 2
Looking at todays other news, it sounds like Nokia are using these already :)


Ironic
By MonkeyPaw on 8/14/2007 12:12:26 PM , Rating: 5
Funny how paper might someday be powering the paperless society.




Nano Paper Battery
By MagnusTheBrewer on 8/14/2007 10:10:33 AM , Rating: 3
Fun stuff! I just had a vision of a combination file cabinet and UPS device. Sign me up.




RE: Nano Paper Battery
By DragonMaster0 on 8/14/2007 10:19:21 AM , Rating: 2
We'll have to invent other white stuff than liquid paper before though.

Hey, you could erase stuff with a graphite pencil to extend the battery's capacity! ;p


RE: Nano Paper Battery
By lumbergeek on 8/14/07, Rating: -1
The paper electric car
By lumbergeek on 8/14/2007 12:26:24 PM , Rating: 2
So you use this to make a paper maché car body, cover it in fiberglass, and you have a nice, big, battery.....




Life span?
By geddarkstorm on 8/14/2007 1:05:53 PM , Rating: 2
Too bad there's nothing in this article about how long these last or how to charge them/recharge them. What is their maximum capacity per square centimeter? The concept is pure awesome, but I'd really love some technical details. This could be totally revolutionary--depending on ease of fabrication, durability, and all the other factors I'm wondering about. What if it gets wet?




Power?
By Oregonian2 on 8/14/2007 2:12:45 PM , Rating: 2
Wonder what the power density is. An iPhone paper battery that lasts for a couple hours of talk-time may be the size of a Sunday newspaper. :-)




This has so many applications...
By JonnyDough on 8/14/2007 11:31:51 PM , Rating: 1
It's not even funny. Let's see how many possible applications we can list for it. Thinner (or simply more powerful due to the battery being spread out allowing room for other components) cell phones and laptops are obvious choices. What about cereal boxes with changing screens and T-shirts? You could coat this paper with a protective plastic or polymer could you not? If this technology provides enough juice, is less volatile and is more biodegradable (due to it's thinness as well as its makeup), then I really see no downside. Current batteries are almost always in block or cylinder form. Everything is going thin and more sturdy (research flash-based hard drives and magnetic drives), isn't it time the power units are able to do the same?




oops we contaminated the paper
By tastyratz on 8/14/07, Rating: -1
"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein











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