Printable batteries

Science Technology
Printable batteries

A research team at the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Electronic Nano Systems (ENAS) in Chemnitz, Germany, led by Prof. Dr. Reinhard Baumann, have developed a 1.5V battery that weighs less than a gram, is less than 1mm thick, and can be printed using a process similar to that used in silk screening.

The new type of battery consists of different layers: a zinc anode and a manganese cathode, among others. Zinc and manganese react with one another and produce electricity. However, the anode and the cathode layer dissipate gradually during this chemical process. Therefore, the battery is suitable for applications that have a limited life span or a limited power requirement, for instance greeting cards.

The team hopes to have products using the method available by the end of the year.

Need battery power? Just print it out

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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