Not A Stretch To Obtain Stretchable Batteries

Scientists in South Korea have developed a battery that remains conductive even under 100 percent strain, paving the way for flexible electronics.

AsianScientist (Feb. 6, 2018) – A team of scientists from the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) in South Korea has developed a stretchable battery that can be used in flexible electronics. Their findings are published in Advanced Energy Materials.

Stretchable electronic devices have recently attracted tremendous attention as next-generation devices due to their immense flexibility. This has fuelled the search for highly stretchable electrodes with high mechanical durability and high electrical conductivity during deformation. Although many methods have been proposed for the fabrication of these electrodes, none of them has managed to simultaneously achieve high stretchability and scalability.

In this study, researchers led by Professors Park Soojin, Seo Kwanyong and Kim So Youn at UNIST developed a hybrid carbon/polymer (HCP) composite that was used as a stretchable current collector in a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The research team observed that the HCP composite effectively retained its electrical conductivity even under high strain rates.

Using a method known as in situ small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), the scientists also analyzed the percolation behaviors of the conductive filler within the stretched composite. They found that the different types of carbon in the filler led to the formation of highly interconnected co-supporting networks which helped maintain conductivity of the composite under deformation stress. Their stretchable battery was able to deliver stable power to a LED even under 100 percent strain.

“Our findings are expected to expand the number of stretchable nanocomposites with electrochemical and mechanical properties available for use in a wide variety of applications,” said Seo, who was in charge of the fabrication of the stretchable current collectors.

“This study is expected to facilitate the design of stretchable nanocomposites with optimized electrochemical and mechanical properties for use in energy storage devices and stretchable electronics,” added Kim, who performed the in situ SAXS experiments.

The article can be found at: Song et al. (2018) Jabuticaba-Inspired Hybrid Carbon Filler/Polymer Electrode for Use in Highly Stretchable Aqueous Li-Ion Batteries.


Source: Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology; Photo: Shutterstock.
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