Boffins Create Printed Battery
How does a battery that can be printed-out sound? Incredible, isn’t it? Well, you had better believe it because that is exactly what scientists at the Fraunhofer Research Institution in Germany have managed to invent.
The new battery developed by the power boffins is a prototype that is lighter and thinner than any power cell currently available. Less than a millimetre thick and weighing in below 1 gram, the battery supplies 1.5V of power. The scientists used silk-screen printing, the same technology used to print T-shirts, to print out this amazing battery. To control the spread of paste, the researchers covered the print area with a mask.
The printing paste, which is the main part of the power cell, is pressed onto the substrate through a screen with the help of a rubber lip. Despite being printed, the battery carries multiple layers that include a zinc anode and a manganese cathode. Electricity is produced through the chemical reaction between the two.
While a single battery only supplies 1.5V of power, the researchers tested multiple batteries in series to achieve 3V, 4.5V and 6V of power supply. While higher power supply capacity might not be an issue, the battery does have one limitation; it can only be used to power gadgets that have a limited lifespan as it cannot be recharged.
Talking about their invention, the boffins said, “The battery is best suited to applications which have a limited life span or a limited power requirement such as greeting cards. The battery isn’t rechargeable.”
At the same time, they claim that in theory, the super-slim design of the battery makes it easy to integrate it into applications such as a bankcard.
The batteries have already gone through multiple tests successfully and according to the researchers, they should be able to translate the success into commercially viable products by the end of the year.
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