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Transbatt Yang News

Pt 101394

News From The Future: Transparent Batteries

Stanford researchers have invented a transparent lithium-ion battery that is also highly flexible. It is comparable in cost to regular batteries on the market today, with great potential for applications in consumer electronics.

Transparent devices have recently attracted substantial attention. Various applications have been demonstrated, including displays, touch screens, and solar cells; however, transparent batteries, a key component in fully integrated transparent devices, have not yet been reported. As battery electrode materials are not transpar- ent and have to be thick enough to store energy, the traditional approach of using thin films for transparent devices is not suitable. Here we demonstrate a grid-structured electrode to solve this dilemma, which is fabricated by a microfluidics-assisted method. The feature dimension in the electrode is below the resolution limit of human eyes, and, thus, the electrode appears transparent. More- over, by aligning multiple electrodes together, the amount of en- ergy stored increases readily without sacrificing the transparency. This results in a battery with energy density of 10 Wh∕L at a trans- parency of 60%. The device is also flexible, further broadening their potential applications. The transparent device configuration also allows in situ Raman study of fundamental electrochemical reactions in batteries.

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Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. Jeff Haskell says:

    Transparent is definitely cool, but I’d like to see it utilized in a different way as well. If it were able to change opacity depending on charge, that would be pretty amazing. Whether fully charged was opaque or fully empty, it would be an easy way to measure state of charge (roughly). In the medical arena, this could be great for implanted devices. Shape the battery like a tattoo or some such, and as the image fades (or darkens), you know to charge up. Couple that with inductive charging, and I think it’d be a great way for it to be put to practical use!

  2. Jeff Haskell says:

    Transparent is definitely cool, but I’d like to see it utilized in a different way as well. If it were able to change opacity depending on charge, that would be pretty amazing. Whether fully charged was opaque or fully empty, it would be an easy way to measure state of charge (roughly). In the medical arena, this could be great for implanted devices. Shape the battery like a tattoo or some such, and as the image fades (or darkens), you know to charge up. Couple that with inductive charging, and I think it’d be a great way for it to be put to practical use!

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