Scientists from the Rice University have created a battery so thin that it could be used in flexible and wearable electronics in the near future. The high–powered battery works without lithium, which is commonly used in current batteries.
The researchers’ first task was to find a material with the flexibility of graphene and carbon nanotubes with a much higher electrical storage capacity. They attacked nickel fluoride after observing that most of the inorganic metal compounds are brittle. Thereafter, they created a battery/supercapacitor by depositing a layer of nickel fluoride on a backing and stretching it to create several 5–nanometre pores within a 900–nanometre thick nickel fluoride layer. This provided enough surface area for energy storage. Once the backing was removed, the electrodes were sandwiched around an electrolyte of potassium hydroxide in polyvinyl alcohol.
The new battery combines the best of the high–energy battery and high–energy supercapacitor and is more stable than most lithium–ion batteries found today. The battery was tested for 10,000 charge/recharge cycles with no signs of degradation.