Scientists have created a thin, biodegradable zinc battery introducing an environmentally sustainable option for powering our devices.
These batteries are made of electrodes screen-printed on cellulose paper that is reinforced with hydrogel. Once the battery is expended, it can then be buried in the soil and will completely disintegrate in a month.
In one experiment, the team proved that even if the battery was cut apart, it still functioned and that bending and twisting it did not affect functionality either.
The team believes their printed battery concept could prove useful in flexible electronics, like flip smartphones or health sensors.
Professor Fan Hongjin from the NTU School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences and the study's co-lead author, said, "Traditional batteries come in a variety of models and sizes, and choosing the right type for your device could be a cumbersome process. Through our study, we showed a simpler, cheaper way of manufacturing batteries, by developing a single large piece of battery that can be cut to desired shapes and sizes without loss of efficiency. These features make our paper batteries ideal for integration in the sorts of flexible electronics that are gradually being developed."