The latest buzz in new battery technology originated in Germany last week and has since made it’s way around the world. As researchers from Fraunhofer Research Institution for Electronic Nano Systems ENAS in Chemnitz have apparently broken new ground with the development of a printable, paper-thin battery; ideas for potential applications of the new battery are already running wild. ATM cards, e-books, cell phones, greeting cards, electronic t-shirts…and the list goes on.
The batteries are printed using a silk-screen printing method similar to that used for t-shirts and signs. Andreas Willert, the group manager at ENAS, states that- “Our goal is to be able to mass produce the batteries at a price of single digit cent range each.” Paper-thin, easily produced, and potentially manufactured for under a dime; almost sounds too good to be true, right?
“The characteristics of the battery differ significantly from those of conventional batteries. The printable version weighs less than one gram on the scales, is not even one millimeter thick and can therefore be integrated into bank cards, for example. The battery contains no mercury and is in this respect environmentally friendly. Its voltage is 1.5 V, which lies within the normal range. By placing several batteries in a row, voltages of 3 V, 4.5 V and 6 V can also be achieved.”
While it’s still too early to tell just how this new battery technology will find it’s way into our daily lives, it may not be all that long until we get the answer. The researchers have already produced the batteries on a laboratory scale and the first products could possibly be finished by the end of the year. Will it’s release become a revolution for battery technology? Only time will tell…