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World’s first bendable battery could herald smart clothing

January 22, 2013 (Korea)

Korean Researchers have developed what appears to be the world’s first imprintable and bendable lithium-ion battery, which could lead to a future for smart clothing. 
 
According to the research team, the batteries use nanomaterials which can be applied to any surface to create fluid-like polymer electrolytes.
 
Prof. Lee Sang-young of Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology led the project team that included nine other distinguished scientists from different places, like Prof. John A. Rogers of the University of Illinois, Researchers Younggi Lee and Gwangman Kim of Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) and researcher Eunhae Gil of Kangwon National University.
 
The technology does not only make the batteries bendable, but the process also makes it more stable. “Conventional lithium-ion batteries that use liquefied Electrolytes had problems with safety as the film that separates the electrolytes may melt under heat, in which case the positive and negative may come in contact, causing an explosion,” Prof. Lee said.
 
 “Because the new battery uses flexible but solid materials, and not liquids, it can be expected to show a much higher level of stability than conventional rechargeable batteries,” he adds.
 
The research was funded by the South Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the National Research Foundation of Korea and published in Advanced Materials under the title “Imprintable, bendable, and shape-conformable polymer electrolytes for versatile-shaped Lithium-ion batteries”.
 
The potential uses of bendable batteries range from ‘paper’ tablets to apparels that charge mobile handsets. Although the researchers claim that flexible battery technology is still in its nascent stage, the latest breakthrough might make flexible screens a reality.
 
It is quite possible that the bendable batteries can be woven into jackets or bags to charge handsets. The technology might also allow flexible screens to be built directly into garments.
 
In fact, the market for truly wearable technology is bound to explode the moment devices that contain battery become as flexible as clothing.
 

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India
More Apparel/Garments News - Korea...

 
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