Flexible And Waterproof Batteries To Power Wearable Devices

By twisting carbon nanotube fibers into a yarn, scientists in China have developed a waterproof zinc-ion battery that can be knitted and stretched.

AsianScientist (Apr. 6, 2018) – In a study published in ACS Nano, scientists describe a rechargeable yarn battery that is waterproof, flexible and can still function even when cut into pieces.

Most people are familiar with smartwatches, but for wearable electronics to progress, scientists will need to overcome the challenge of creating a device that is deformable, durable, versatile and wearable. The device should also be able to hold and maintain a charge.

In the present study, researchers led by Dr. Zhi Chunyi of the City University of Hong Kong developed a rechargeable yarn zinc-ion battery that could maintain its charge capacity while being waterproof and flexible. They twisted carbon nanotube fibers into a yarn, then coated one piece of yarn with zinc to form an anode. A separate piece of yarn was subsequently coated with magnesium oxide to form a cathode.

These two pieces were then twisted like a double helix, coated with a polyacrylamide electrolyte and encased in silicone. Upon testing, the yarn zinc-ion battery was stable, had a high charge capacity and was rechargeable and waterproof.

In addition, the material could be knitted and stretched. It also could be cut into several pieces, each of which could power a watch. In a proof-of-concept demonstration, eight pieces of the cut yarn battery were woven into a long piece that could power a belt containing 100 light emitting diodes and an electroluminescent panel.

The article can be found at: Li et al. (2018) Waterproof and Tailorable Elastic Rechargeable Yarn Zinc Ion Batteries by a Cross-Linked Polyacrylamide Electrolyte.


Source: American Chemical Society.
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