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."

Lou Reade

This material is protected by MA Business copyright
See Terms and Conditions.
One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not.
For multiple copies contact the sales team.


Supporting Information
Do you have any comments about this article?

Your comments/feedback may be edited prior to publishing. Not all entries will be published.
Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

© MA Business Ltd (a Mark Allen Group Company) 2020