C&EN: Screen-Printed, Flexible Battery Could be Low-Cost Power Source for Wearable Electronics

New Ag-Zn battery is more powerful than Li-ion versions and could be made on a large-scale.
Flexible, rechargeable Ag-Zn batteries — like this one measuring 1×5cm — could be made at a large scale using a simple, low-cost new screen-printing approach.

Researchers have developed a way to make high-power, flexible, and stretchable batteries by the dozens using a screen-printing technique much like that used for printing t-shirts (Joule 2020, DOI: 10.1016/j.joule.2020.11.008). The method lets them make silver–zinc batteries, which are based on a decades-old chemistry, in any shape and size, and it paves the way for manufacturing rolls of the batteries quickly at low cost.


The new, stretchy, twistable battery can provide at least five times as much power as lithium-ion cells of the same area—enough for two 4 cm2 batteries to power a palm-sized flexible display. Its high charge capacity and pliability make the battery ideal for powering wearable gadgets and small, lightweight sensors and wireless networking devices, says its developer Shirley Meng, a materials scientist at the University of California San Diego.


Read the full news story on the Chemical & Engineering News website.