Batteries use plastic instead of metal

US engineers have created a battery that uses plastic, rather than metal, to conduct electrical current.

Batteries use plastic instead of metal




Tayhas Palmore (pictured), an associate professor in Brown University’s Division of Engineering, wanted to combine the benefits of battery and capacitor. A description of the prototype is published in Advanced Materials.

The tip of a thin strip of gold-coated plastic film is covered with polypyrrole – a chemical compound that carries an electrical current. The process was repeated, this time using another kind of conduction-altering chemical. The two strips, with different polymer tips, are stuck together, separated by a papery membrane to prevent a short circuit.

Palmore says that the battery is smaller than an iPod Nano. At the same time it is thinner, and about as slim, as an overhead transparency.

"You start thinking about this polymer and you start thinking that you can create batteries everywhere out of it," Palmore said. "You could wrap cell phones in it or electronic devices. Conceivably, you could even make fabric out of this composite."

Author
Lou Reade

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