Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Flexible battery, no lithium required: Lab creates thin-film battery for portable, wearable electronics

Date:
April 28, 2014
Source:
Rice University
Summary:
Scientists have created a thin, flexible film that combines the best qualities of batteries and supercapacitors. Chemists developed a flexible material with nanoporous nickel-fluoride electrodes layered around a solid electrolyte to deliver battery-like supercapacitor performance that combines the best qualities of a high-energy battery and a high-powered supercapacitor without the lithium found in commercial batteries today.

Rice University postdoctoral researcher Yang Yang holds an energy storage unit with the best qualities of batteries and supercapacitors in a scalable, flexible package.
Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University

A Rice University laboratory has flexible, portable and wearable electronics in its sights with the creation of a thin film for energy storage.

Related Articles


Rice chemist James Tour and his colleagues have developed a flexible material with nanoporous nickel-fluoride electrodes layered around a solid electrolyte to deliver battery-like supercapacitor performance that combines the best qualities of a high-energy battery and a high-powered supercapacitor without the lithium found in commercial batteries today.

The new work by the Rice lab of chemist James Tour is detailed in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Their electrochemical capacitor is about a hundredth of an inch thick but can be scaled up for devices either by increasing the size or adding layers, said Rice postdoctoral researcher Yang Yang, co-lead author of the paper with graduate student Gedeng Ruan. They expect that standard manufacturing techniques may allow the battery to be even thinner.

In tests, the students found their square-inch device held 76 percent of its capacity over 10,000 charge-discharge cycles and 1,000 bending cycles.

Tour said the team set out to find a material that has the flexible qualities of graphene, carbon nanotubes and conducting polymers while possessing much higher electrical storage capacity typically found in inorganic metal compounds. Inorganic compounds have, until recently, lacked flexibility, he said.

"This is not easy to do, because materials with such high capacity are usually brittle," he said. "And we've had really good, flexible carbon storage systems in the past, but carbon as a material has never hit the theoretical value that can be found in inorganic systems, and nickel fluoride in particular."

"Compared with a lithium-ion device, the structure is quite simple and safe," Yang said. "It behaves like a battery but the structure is that of a supercapacitor. If we use it as a supercapacitor, we can charge quickly at a high current rate and discharge it in a very short time. But for other applications, we find we can set it up to charge more slowly and to discharge slowly like a battery."

To create the battery/supercapacitor, the team deposited a nickel layer on a backing. They etched it to create 5-nanometer pores within the 900-nanometer-thick nickel fluoride layer, giving it high surface area for storage. Once they removed the backing, they sandwiched the electrodes around an electrolyte of potassium hydroxide in polyvinyl alcohol. Testing found no degradation of the pore structure even after 10,000 charge/recharge cycles. The researchers also found no significant degradation to the electrode-electrolyte interface.

"The numbers are exceedingly high in the power that it can deliver, and it's a very simple method to make high-powered systems," Tour said, adding that the technique shows promise for the manufacture of other 3-D nanoporous materials. "We're already talking with companies interested in commercializing this."

Rice graduate student Changsheng Xiang and postdoctoral researcher Gunuk Wang are co-authors of the paper.

The Peter M. and Ruth L. Nicholas Postdoctoral Fellowship of the Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research's Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative supported the research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rice University. The original article was written by Mike Williams. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yang Yang, Gedeng Ruan, Changsheng Xiang, Gunuk Wang, James M. Tour. Flexible Three-Dimensional Nanoporous Metal-Based Energy Devices. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2014; 140418142709000 DOI: 10.1021/ja501247f

Cite This Page:

Rice University. "Flexible battery, no lithium required: Lab creates thin-film battery for portable, wearable electronics." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140428121345.htm>.
Rice University. (2014, April 28). Flexible battery, no lithium required: Lab creates thin-film battery for portable, wearable electronics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140428121345.htm
Rice University. "Flexible battery, no lithium required: Lab creates thin-film battery for portable, wearable electronics." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140428121345.htm (accessed April 19, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

At Least 15 Injured in a California Natural Gas Pipeline Explosion

At Least 15 Injured in a California Natural Gas Pipeline Explosion

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 18, 2015) At least 15 injred after natural gas transmission line ruptures in Fresno, California. Julie Noce reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA Electric Rover Goes for a Spin

NASA Electric Rover Goes for a Spin

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 17, 2015) NASA&apos;s prototype electric buggy could influence future space rovers and conventional cars. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Self-Powering Camera

Scientists Create Self-Powering Camera

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 17, 2015) American scientists build a self-powering camera that captures images without using an external power source, allowing it to operate indefinitely in a well-lit environment. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
The State Of Virtual Reality

The State Of Virtual Reality

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Virtual Reality is still a young industry. What’s on offer and what should we expect from our immersive new future? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins