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Stanford U shows paper batteries using ink, nanotubes

updated 05:30 pm EST, Wed December 9, 2009

Stanford University shows nanotech batteries

Scientists at the Stanford University have found a way to create electricity using little else than regular paper coated in special ink that contains nanotubes and silver nanowires, the school's paper reported on Monday. Even when the paper is crumpled, it retains its newfound properties and acts as a battery or supercapacitor.

The nanomaterials used in the process are a one-dimensional structure with tiny diameters, said Yi Cui, assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford, who is heading up the project. This small size helps the nanomaterial ink stick to paper, making the resulting battery very resilient. The product is also said to outlast lithium batteries, at 40,000 charge and discharge cycles. The nanomaterials are also more efficient than traditional conductors.

Cui had used the concept using plastic in the past, but finds paper to be more durable because the nanomaterial more readily sticks to it. The scientist foresees applications that involve storing the excess energy produced at night for using during the day.

by MacNN Staff





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