How did they manage this? The battery contains carbon nanotubes, each about one millionth of a centimetre thick, which act as an electrode. The nanotubes are embedded in a sheet of paper soaked in ionic liquid electrolytes, which conduct the electricity. The structure is so flexible that it can be rolled up, folded or cut and the ionic liquid can even be human sweat, which makes it able for medicine applications.
The battery basic materials are paper and carbon, which makes it also a very safe alternative for electricity storage (lead acid batteries anyone?). Nevertheless, the nanotechnology that is used to create this paper battery is very expensive, so any prospective automotive application would require sheets of the size of newspapers. The investigator's ultimate target is producing the paper using a newspaper-type roller.
- AutoblogGreen Q&A: AltairNano CEO Alan Gotcher
- Using sunlight and nano catalysts to crack water into H2 and O2
- New nanotechnology enables increased battery energy density