Summary: Flat battery? Try a bit of paper power. - CNN.com http://www.printthis.clickability.com/pt/cpt?action=cpt&title=Flat+batte...
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Flat battery? Try a bit of paper power.
Nano-engineered battery looks like a piece of paper
Potential applications include space program, health and electric airplanes
New invention hybrid battery and supercapacitor could be used in electric cars
By Mairi Mackay for CNN
LONDON, England (CNN) -- It would be easy to mistake the latest innovation in energy storage for a humble piece of paper.
But researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York State say their nano-engineered battery of the future could
revolutionize everything from air travel to healthcare.
It's no accident that the battery resembles a piece of paper. Cellulose - the same plant cells used in news print, photocopier paper and
books - makes up more than 90 percent of the device.
"It's essentially a regular piece of paper, but it's made in a very intelligent way," said Professor Robert Linhardt, one of the co-authors
of a paper outlining the discovery.
The mechanism is engineered at a molecular level from particles no larger than a virus. Carbon nano-tubes embedded on one side of
the cellulose give the battery its black color and act as electrodes. Lithium oxide on the other side of the sheet works as an electrolyte.
Having integrated components makes the battery stronger and more flexible than a conventional battery.