A team of researchers at Rice University have developed what could revolutionize any battery-powered product for decades to come.
While it may sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, the paintable battery is indeed real and opens up the world to turning any surface into a storage device. Without getting too technical, the technique essentially turns any surface into a lithium-ion battery and can be combined with solar cells to provide a charge.
The team spent hours formulating, mixing, and testing paints for the five layers that compromise the battery: two current collectors, a cathode, an anode, and a polymer separator in the middle. To test the concept, the materials were applied on various types of material including ceramic bathroom tiles, flexible polymers, glass, stainless steel, and even a beer stein (cheers!).
As a proof of concept, nine ceramic tiles were spray painted and connected in parallel. The team then topped one of the tiles with a solar cell that converted power from a standard white laboratory light. Once the batteries were fully charged from the solar panel and house current, the batteries were able to power a series of LEDs for six hours and the batteries had no problems providing a steady 2.4 volts.
Obviously the use of this could be game changing in many industries, but its potential impact on the automotive industry could be huge.
Watch a video demonstrating the process below.
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[Source: Rice University News]