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Portable electronic technology has always been limited by the large and good old lithium-ion batteries. But not as long as Stanford University researchers have developed a stretchable and soft battery that can be used in portable technology that relies on a special type of plastic to store energy than the combustible material of conventional batteries.
We have not had a power source that can be stretched and bent like our body, said chemical engineer Zhenan Bao who developed the device together with material scientist Yi Cui.
For a long time, lithium ion batteries have been using polymers, which are flowable gels and can leak or burst into flames, as electrolytes, the energy source that transports negative ions to the positive pole of the battery.
To avoid such risks, the Stanford researchers have developed a polymer that is solid and can be stretched instead of the conventional leaking stuff, and yet can carry an electrical charge. The experimental battery maintained a constant output power, in the laboratory, even when it was compressed, folded or stretched to twice the original length.
The prototype is thumb-sized and saves nearly half as much energy as a conventional battery of comparable size, ounce by ounce. The use for this technology is limitless and a huge breakthrough for medical use.