German Scientists Invent Paper-Thin Batteries.

The verdict is in, the world’s first printable batteries have been invented by a team of German scientists. The new batteries are less than one millimeter thick, can be produced in large
quantities at a fraction of conventional battery costs and weighs less than one gram. Applications range from integration into bank cards to items with a limited life span, such as greeting cards.

Production of the batteries is similar to silk-screen printing methods used for t-shirts and posters.
The battery, developed by a research team at the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Electronic
Nano Systems (ENAS) in Chemnitz, Germany, contains no mercury; thus making it environmentally friendly. Each battery produces 1.5 volts, which is the normal range for conventional batteries.
Higher voltages can be reached by simply placing more batteries on top of each other, therefore increasing their application capabilities.

“Our goal is to be able to mass produce the batteries at a price of single digit cent range each,”
group manager at ENAS Dr. Andreas Willert says. The batteries are printed using a silk-screen
printing method similar to that used for t-shirts and posters. A kind of rubber lip presses the
printing paste through a screen onto the substrate. A template covers the areas that are not
to be printed on. Through this process it is possible to apply comparatively large quantities of
printing paste, and the individual layers are slightly thicker than a hair. Therefore, the battery is suitable for applications which have a limited life span or a limited power requirement,
for instance greeting cards. The researchers have already produced the batteries on
a laboratory scale. At the end of this year, the first products could possibly be finished.

The wafer-thin, mercury-free batteries could find uses ranging from credit cards to medical devices.

© Picture-Alliance/Dpa.
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