A team of Korean researchers may have discovered how to create a flexible battery to be used in smartphones. This may be a game changer in the future of smartphones since, until now, the focus has primarily creating flexible displays.
The researchers’ paper in The Advanced Materials journal details what they’ve titled Imprintable, Bendable, and Shape-Conformable Polymer Electrolytes for Versatile-Shaped Lithium-Ion Batteries – which translates into ultraportable and lithe smartphones batteries.
Liquefied electrolytes are currently used in traditional batteries which are housed in square cases. It’s natural to think these liquefied electrolytes would be flexible, but they are not. Their hard casings limit flexibility considerably and if heat melts the film that separates the electrolytes from the casing, an explosion may occur.
The quest for polymer electrolytes that are fluid-like, having the stability of a solid while retaining the flexibility of a fluid, is necessary to create a truly bendable smartphone.
Manufacturing of the fluid-like material may actually be easier and faster to manufacture because it is easy to apply the electrolytes to electrode, and the electrolytes are imprintable and can have patterns printed on them.
Bendable batteries are one of many elements necessary to create a bendable smartphone, including a bendable screen. In fact, at the Consumer Electronics Association (CES) convention in mid-January, Samsung displayed some of its prototypes using flexible screen OLED technology.