Power in Paper (Literally)

Wow, this is incredibly cool:

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-08/rpi-bbs080907.php

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a new energy storage device that easily could be mistaken for a simple sheet of black paper.

The nanoengineered battery is lightweight, ultra thin, completely flexible, and geared toward meeting the trickiest design and energy requirements of tomorrow’s gadgets, implantable medical equipment, and transportation vehicles.

Rensselaer researchers infused this paper with aligned carbon nanotubes, which give the device its black color. The nanotubes act as electrodes and allow the storage devices to conduct electricity. The device, engineered to function as both a lithium-ion battery and a supercapacitor, can provide the long, steady power output comparable to a conventional battery, as well as a supercapacitor’s quick burst of high energy.

The device can be rolled, twisted, folded, or cut into any number of shapes with no loss of mechanical integrity or efficiency. The paper batteries can also be stacked, like a ream of printer paper, to boost the total power output.

As long as they can figure out a way to affordably mass produce this technology, this is a game changer.

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