Wearable electronic tech has always been limited by the bulky and good old lithium-ion batteries. But not long as researchers from Stanford University have developed a stretchable and soft battery that can be used in wearable tech which relies on a special type of plastic to store power than conventional batteries’ flammable material.
We have not had a power source that could be stretched and bent as our bodies do, said chemical engineer Zhenan Bao who teamed up with material scientist Yi Cui to develop the device.
For some time lithium-ion batteries have used polymers, which are flowable gels and can leak or burst into flames, as electrolytes which is the energy source that transports negative ions to the positive pole of the battery.
For avoiding such risks the Stanford researchers have developed a polymer that is solid and can be stretched rather than the conventional leaky stuff, and yet still can carry an electric charge. The experimental battery maintained a constant power output, in the lab, even when squeezed, folded, or stretched to twice its original length.
The prototype is thumb-sized and stores nearly half as much energy as a comparably sized conventional battery, ounce for ounce. The uses for this tech are limitless and a huge breakthrough for medical usage.