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Clever Battery Completes Stretchable Electronics Package

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The stretchable battery.

The flexible battery may be stretched up to 300% of its original size, and still function.


Researchers at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois have demonstrated a flexible lithium-ion battery that can power stretchable electronics. The researchers have demonstrated a battery that continues to work even when stretched, folded, twisted, and mounted on a human elbow.

They note the technology can be used anywhere, including inside the human body.

"When we stretch the battery, the wavy interconnecting lines unfurl, much like yarn unspooling," says Northwestern professor Yonggang Huang. "And we can stretch the device a great deal and still have a working battery."

The power and voltage of the stretchable battery are similar to a conventional lithium-ion battery of the same size, but the flexible battery can stretch up to 300% of its original size and still function. The stretchable electronic circuits are equipped with pop-up technology that enables circuits to bend, stretch, and twist. In addition, the stretching process is reversible, and the battery can be wirelessly recharged.

The researchers produced an array of minuscule circuit elements linked by metal wire pop-up bridges; when the array is stretched, the wires pop up rather than the rigid circuits.

From Northwestern University Newscenter
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