HOUSTON, USA – Rice University researchers have designed a lithium-ion battery that can effectively be painted on any surface.
The rechargeable battery has five spray-painted layers with each one accommodating components in a traditional battery – two current collectors, a cathode, an anode and a polymer separator in the middle. Researchers spent hours formulating and mixing paints for each layer of components.
The team used different surfaces such as bathroom tiles, glass, stainless steel along with others to test how well the materials embedded on each substrate.
The batteries were reported to have very consistent capacities, providing 2.4 volts steadily. In an experiment, nine bathroom tile-based batteries were linked in parallel, with one of them topped with a solar cell. Once the batteries charged, they were able to light a set of diodes spelling “Rice” for six hours.
According to one of the team member, these painted batteries could be combined with paintable solar cells to acquire energy effectively.
The research work is available online as open-access Scientific Reports on Nature’s journal.