JAN 23, 2020 2:35 PM PST

New Stretchable Battery

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Electronics are everywhere on our laps, in pockets and purses and, know they are slowly sneaking up our clothes and skin. The adoption of wearable electronics has been limited for a variety of reasons such as the need for less bulky power and the risk of hazards from chemical leakage and combustion.

Now, researchers at Stanford University have created a soft and stretchable battery to improve efficacy and safety in wearable electronics. The development utilizes a special type of plastic to store power than flammable bases used in today’s conventional batteries.

"Until now we haven't had a power source that could stretch and bend the way our bodies do, so that we can design electronics that people can comfortably wear," said chemical engineer Zhenan Bao, who teamed up with materials scientist Yi Cui to develop the device published in the journal Nature Communications.

However, the use of plastics for power storage in batteries not something novel. In recent years, lithium ion batteries were used polymers to function as electrolytes which is a source of energy that transports negative ions to a battery's positive pole. Unfortunately, although effective, these polymer electrolytes could leak or burst into flame.

To address these risks—researchers are developing a solid and stretchable polymer that can avoid any leaks but still carries an electric charge between a battery’s poles. During lab tests, the experimental battery maintains a constant power output applied pressure.

Learn more about how batteries work:

One potential application for the research is to power stretchable sensors for medical uses like monitoring heart rate and other vital signs as part of the BodyNet wearable technology.

Source: Science Daily

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
APR 19, 2020
Space & Astronomy
APR 19, 2020
NASA Pegs Official Launch Date for First Crewed SpaceX Flight
Those who’ve been following the hype shared by both NASA and SpaceX during the past couple of years would know tha ...
APR 23, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
APR 23, 2020
Wearable e-skin powered by sweat
What if your skin could monitor your heart rate, body temperature, and blood sugar levels? Well, not your skin, exactly ...
APR 16, 2020
Technology
APR 16, 2020
Technology Lights The Way For Safer Imaging Techniques
Current imaging techniques rely on the possibility of harmful radiation. To challenge that, researchers at John Hopkins ...
MAY 22, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
MAY 22, 2020
3-D Printing a Future with Affordable and Sustainable Nuclear Energy
Admittedly, conventional nuclear plants are extremely costly to build and hazard-prone. To bring atomic energy into the ...
MAY 15, 2020
Technology
MAY 15, 2020
What is HARVEY?
One of the biggest challenges facing clinical workers is trying to explore user interface treatment options easily witho ...
JUN 14, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JUN 14, 2020
NASA Picks Astrobotic to Deliver VIPER Rover to the Moon
NASA is no stranger to autonomous rovers. To date, the American space agency has sent four rovers to the Martian surface ...
Loading Comments...