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Flexible Batteries Can Now Be Printed Onto Textile

Flexible batteries. Who would’ve thought?

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Aside from VR, AR, and AI technologies being the one of the leading advances that will shape our future, there’s also the much newer, wearable technology. Over the past few years, scientists, engineers, and inventors from around the world have been trying to make several different kinds of technology into a for that’s wearable, so that one could easily equip it with their own clothing without the need of bulky and space-consuming electronics.

However, there has always been one thing holding this technology back from growing to its full potential: batteries. Any form of electronics, even wearable ones, need some form of power supply. Currently, any wearable technology actually comes at the cost of having a very cumbersome battery that isn’t very wearable at all for it to be operational.

Source: University of Manchester

But thanks to researchers from the University of Manchester, UK, they have finally come up with the world’s first printable, wearable battery.

In their paper published in the journal 2D Materials, these batteries are made by using graphene-oxide ink to print onto textile fabric to form a flexible, and most of all, wearable, supercapacitor that can power other wearable devices. Also, it’s washable, so this can truly be integrated into smart clothing with no problems whatsoever.

Source: The University of Manchester – The home of graphene

This development means that wearable technology can finally overcome its greatest hurdle and move on to truly be 100% lightweight and easy to wear.

“The development of graphene-based flexible textile supercapacitor using a simple and scalable printing technique is a significant step towards realising multifunctional next generation wearable e-textiles.” Says Dr Nazmul Karim, co-author of the paper, and Knowledge Exchange Fellow at the National Graphene Institute. “It will open up possibilities of making an environmental friendly and cost-effective smart e-textile that can store energy and monitor human activity and physiological condition at the same time.”


University of Manchester

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