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A group of South Korean scientists has developed the world's first imprintable
and bendable lithium-ion battery, which, in turn, could help enhance the
development of new flexible mobile devices, such as cellular phones, the science
ministry said Tuesday.
Unlike conventional batteries that use liquefied electrolytes, the new rechargeable battery uses nanomaterials that are applied to any given surface to create fluid-like polymer electrolytes.
The use of fluid-like electrolytes not only makes the battery bendable but also more stable, according to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, which partly funded the research.
"Conventional lithium-ion batteries that use liquefied electrolytes had problems with safety as the film that separates electrolytes may melt under heat, in which case the positive and negative may come in contact, causing an explosion," it said.
"Because the new battery uses flexible but solid materials,
and not liquids, it can be expected to show a much higher level of stability
than conventional rechargeable batteries."
The research team was led by Prof. Lee Sang-young of South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, and included nine others from various institutes, including Prof. John A. Rogers of the University of Illinois.
Their joint paper, titled "Imprintable, bendable, and shape-conformable polymer electrolytes for versatile-shaped lithium-ion batteries," was published in the latest edition of science journal Advanced Materials.