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A Japanese research group has just begun developing lithium polymer batteries that can be manufactured en masse--with roll-to-roll printing technology. The new lithium battery, designed for use with "a flexible solar battery or display," will be fully printable--and therefore thinner, and subject to cheaper, more efficient production. The research group responsible for the discovery is lead by the Japan-based Advanced Materials Innovation Center (AMIC) of Mie Industry and Enterprise Support Center (MIESC).
According to TechOn,
The sheet-shaped battery is expected to be used with a flexible solar battery or display and to be attached to a curved surface. If the battery is integrated with a solar battery formed on a flexible substrate, it is possible to realize a sheet that can be used both as a power generator and a power storage, AMIC said.And since it makes use of printing technology, it will be thinner, though larger in area, and will be laminated. The roll-to-roll production will make for cheaper production, though one worries about potential waste generated by such mass printing endeavors.
They prototyped two types of batteries. One has an output voltage of about 4V at a room temperature while the other has an output voltage of about 2V. The thickness of the battery is about 500μm [!], but the battery capacity was not disclosed. Its negative and positive electrodes were formed on a flexible substrate by using printing technology.The researchers say that by 2011, the studies will be complete, and the group will turn to commercial and manufacturing considerations. Indeed--as soon as 2011, we could see lithium batteries rolling out of printing presses.
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