Paper-Thin Batteries and OLED Lighting Displays
Stanford University scientists have created a new battery with impressive physical properties. The battery is an ultra-thin (as thin or thinner than paper) rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can be bent and warped without any degradation of operation. The prototype battery is made of a sheet of paper to which is added a dual sided coating of carbon nanotubes, followed by an application of a lithium compound. The battery is expected to support 300 recharges before needing to be replaced.
The applications for such a flexible battery are nearly limitless. One technology that would mesh particularly well with these batteries is OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) technology. OLEDs are used for small device screens, television screens, computer monitors, and other similar things. More recent OLED development has led to flexible screens that can be rolled up or folded; these would be perfect applications for an internal battery that can roll and fold with the screen it is powering. Some research has even resulted in luminescent cloth; flexible batteries would be perfect for “light-up clothes”.
It is likely that the first and most prevalent use of these technologies would be for advertising. Cereal boxes, toy packaging, etc. could be first, followed by packaging for all manner of products, perhaps displaying the product in use. One could think up scenarios in which various technologies like the aforementioned batteries and OLEDs would be paired with disposable nano CPUs and harddrives to create “video stickers” and countless other devices.
Light bulbs could be made to harness these technologies. Standalone sheets of light that you could wrap around anything or fold into various shapes with no need for external power because the batteries would be wrapping and folding right there with the OLED sheets! OLEDs would be great for low-lumen patches to put on clothing for night exercisers/runners/bikers to increase safety by huge amounts without cumbersome flashlights or apparatuses. That’s just a tiny look into the vast possibilities from these new paper-thin batteries and OLED lights.