Scientists have developed world's first bendable lithium-ion batteries, paving way for flexible mobile devices. Researchers led by professor Lee Sang-young of the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea developed imprintable, fluid-like polymer electrolytes that are used for lithium-ion batteries.
Conventional batteries use liquefied electrolytes and are put into square-shaped cases, which makes them inflexible with risks of explosion. Because of these disadvantages, there have been efforts to develop high-molecule electrolytes.
The use of fluid-like electrolytes not only makes the battery bendable but also more stable, 'Korea Joongang Daily' reported. Also, there is no need to manufacture the square-shaped battery cases when using the fluid-electrolytes. Just like spreading jam on bread, spreading the fluid-like electrolytes on electrodes and exposing them to ultraviolet rays for 30 seconds is how the new rechargeable battery is created, the report said.
Another advantage of the imprintable electrolytes is greater efficiency. If electrolytes are imprintable, they can have various patterns printed on them, helping chemical reactions that raise the output of the batteries. "Conventional lithium-ion batteries that use liquefied electrolytes had safety problems as the film that separates the electrolytes may melt under heat, in which case the positive and negative elements may come in contact, causing an explosion," said an official at the South Korean Education, Science and Technology ministry.
"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," the official said.