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A Lithium-Ion Battery Can Be Stretched by 600%

stretchable battery

Image credit: Zhang et al., 2014 Journal of Materials Chemistry.

According to the study published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry, a group of scientists from Fudan University, China, has developed kind of lithium-ion battery with the superb stretch up to 600%, but at the same time, it is still capable of maintaining its amazing electrochemical properties.

At present, stretchy electronic devices have become so popular that you can see their wide-ranged applications in various fields. For instance, they could be utilized to develop electronic skins for the purpose of monitoring various health conditions or smart gloves for surgery.

However, owing to rigidness of conventional batteries, it is generally accepted that such fault has hindered the practical application of stretchy electronics. Therefore it is necessary to develop stretchable batteries so as to address the requirements of such electronic devices.

In the process of creating the super-stretchy battery, the researchers from Fudan University first wound two carbon nanotube composite fibers with a silicon-based elastomer substrate. Afterwards they incorporated such fibers were with either lithium manganate or lithium titanate, which are used as the positive and the negative electrodes respectively. Finally, this electrode assembly was coated with a layer of gel electrolyte for sealing the battery. This combination of twisted electrodes, elastic substrate and gel electrolyte would enable the battery to be super-stretchy.

In stretching this battery, the scientists did maintain the spring-like structure of the electrodes. By doing so, they were capable of stretching the battery by 600% whilst retaining a specific capacity of 91.3 mAh/g.

As the lead researcher Huisheng Peng explained, their batteries could be especially to develop wearable or portable electronic devices, because these fiber-shaped batteries could be scaled-up easily to a proper length and woven into clothing which would be adaptable to the body’s movement.

For more detailed information about Huisheng Peng’s batteries, you can visit YouTube to watch the video released by Fudan University.

Journal reference: Zhang, Ye, et al. “Super-stretchy lithium-ion battery based on carbon nanotube fiber.” Journal of Materials Chemistry A (2014).