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Paper battery could power gadgets of the future

Ordinary paper could one day be used as ultra-lightweight, bendable batteries, according to scientists from Stanford University.

Simply coating a sheet of paper with ink made of silver and carbon nanomaterials makes an efficient storage device that is 10 times as powerful as lithium-ion batteries used to power laptops.

paper battery
The light-weight battery is created by painting nanotube ink onto paper

Paper is a porous material that helps carbon nanotubes and silver nanowire films stick to it, much like ink does.

After it is coated and heated heated the paper becomes super-conductive and works as a battery even if the material is crumpled.

'Taking advantage of the mature paper technology, low cost, light and high-performance energy-storage are realized by using conductive paper as current collectors and electrodes,' the scientists said in research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

This type of battery could be especially useful for applications like electric or hybrid cars, which depend on the quick transfer of electricity.

Battery weight and life have been an obstacle to commercial viability of electric-powered cars and trucks.

'Society really needs a low-cost, high-performance energy storage device, such as batteries and simple supercapacitors,' Stanford assistant professor Yi Cui said.

'Our paper supercapacitors can be used for all kinds of applications that require instant high power.
'Since our paper batteries and supercapacitors can be very low cost, they are also good for grid-connected energy storage.'

Peidong Yang, professor of chemistry at the University of California-Berkeley, said the technology could be commercialized within a short time.

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