Printable batteries have long been sought after, but only recently scientists have been able to figure out a way to make them in a viable technological process. Mie Industry Enterprise Support Center (MIESC) has built a prototype lithium storage battery in the form of a sheet, by using only printing technology.
The MIESC flexible battery is going to be showcased at the 1st International Rechargeable Battery Expo, taking place from March 3 to 5 in Tokyo.
All the layers (positive, electrolyte and negative electrode) are made by roll-to-roll processes, using no separator between them. The anode is made with LiFePO4 (already tested technology) and a carbon complex. The electrolyte in between the anode and the cathode is made of a polymer using a cross-linked polyethylene oxide, and the cathode is made with Li4Ti5O12 and a complex of graphite, silicon and other materials.
MIESC’s printable battery does not use a flammable organic electrolyte but rather a solid, non gel-based one.
Measuring only 450 μm in thickness, the battery has an initial capacity of 45mAh. With half of the capacity discharged, the battery has 1.8V between its electrodes. The discharge rate, useful for electric cars, can be changed between 0.02C and 1.0C. An interesting fact about it is that, unlike other all-solid lithium polymer batteries, this one can be used at room temperatures or below (from 0 to 25°C).
Of course, like all prototypes, MIESC’s printable battery is only in the testing phase for the moment. The company is testing the charge-discharge cycle and found that it can bear more than 100 of them and is are still improving in this area.