As our world accelerates in to the future, new technological advancements are constantly being created – and it’s not just those interesting iPad accessories. Recently, a unique and revolutionary battery was developed by a research team in Rice University in Texas. How would you like to use spray-on batteries to power future electronic devices?
A Battery You Can Spray On
Used much like spray-paint, this futuristic innovation can be applied onto almost any surface, and will fit into just about any shape or texture. A battery this compact and flexible has the potential to transform the future generations of electronic devices. Laptops, iPads, mobile phones, MP3 players – even electric cars – can be significantly lighter, smaller and more convenient to use.
Understanding the Concept
The creators implemented the same principles used in a standard lithium-ion (Li-on) battery, the kind normally used in electronic gadgets. A lithium-ion battery is comprised of a cathode, an electrolyte or separator, an anode, plus positive and negative current collectors. These parts are layered, tightly rolled and wrapped in a compact, metal shell.
The research team produced liquid forms of these same components, and these are sequentially sprayed-on in layers to assemble a flat but complete energy storage solution.
This concept would naturally cause people to wonder whether the spray-on battery is effective. According the team responsible for producing this item, its performance is adequately similar to that of the trusted lithium-ion battery.
Rice researchers invent paintable battery – See it on YouTube.
Its Implications and Possible Applications
This unique new breakthrough in battery design can clearly pave the way for lighter and more compact electronics. Since this cutting-edge technology can be applied onto almost any surface and fit into any shape, future devices would eventually be more streamlined as they no longer need a boxy battery compartment. You would also no longer have to worry about taking care of your gadgets battery life.
This technology can also be useful for harvesting energy and converting it into useable electricity. Sprayed surfaces can be attached together and connected to energy conversion devices. For capturing and storing solar power, for example, a wall or several interconnected panels can be spray-painted with the battery and then covered with solar cells. You could use regular construction supplies such as glass, ceramic tiles or polymer sheets; even everyday objects found at home, like a coffee mug or a stainless steel bowl.
With batteries this adaptable and versatile, electronics-savvy individuals can surely conceive of various practical usages.
However, cutting-edge, this battery needs to be further improved, since its components are toxic, corrosive and flammable. Great caution must be taken in its application, and it must only be used in environments free from oxygen and moisture. With that, it is not entirely suitable for home applications and would be safer to be limited for industrial uses.
Still, the research team aims to ultimately develop a spray-on battery that is safe to use even in open air.
Visualizing the Possibilities
Imagine carrying a card-thin, paper-light smart phone in your pocket, or putting together a DIY solar power storage device using your kitchen utensils. Think about it: spray-on batteries to power future electronic devices? When this technology gets perfected, it would certainly change the future of electronics.
Author: Peter Lee is the webmaster of ComputerHowToGuide.com. He is particularly interested in reading articles about tips to protect and extend gadget’s battery life. You can follow him on Twitter @com_howtoguide.