New Jersey Institute of Technology (Newark, NJ) professor of chemistry and environmental science Somenath Mitra and his assistant, doctoral student Zhiqian Wang, have created a flexible battery made from carbon nanotubes. The shapeable power source targets emerging flexible organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays as well as the next wave of bendable and wearable electronics.
According to professor Mitra, it is possible to make a battery the size of a pinhead or as large as a living room carpet. He points out, and it is obvious, that the applications for his invention are virtually endless. For example, a car battery that just rolls up and fits in the trunk. In turn, if a spare tire is essential, how about a spare battery, or two?
Impressive as that may be, the professor and his assistant also clear another hurdle: user customization. End users will be able to fabricate and shape the battery on site. As per the researchers, a typical battery kit consists of electrode paste and a laminating machine.
The fabricating process, at this point, may be a bit involved for novice hands. It entails first coating two plastic sheets with electrode paste. Next, the user inserts a separator between the sheets and then laminates the assembly. Users would be able to assemble custom, flexible components that function like common AA and AAA batteries.
A patent application for the battery is on file. For more details, you can download a detailed paper with specs at http://web.njit.edu/~mitra/battery-poster-wang-2013.pdf and/or email professor Mitra at [email protected].