Rice chemist James Tour and his colleagues have developed a flexible material with nanoporous nickel-fluoride electrodes layered around a solid electrolyte to deliver battery-like supercapacitor performance that combines the best qualities of a high-energy battery and a high-powered supercapacitor without the lithium found in commercial batteries today.
The new work by the Rice lab of chemist James Tour is detailed in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
That's right, flexible batteries! What does this mean for electronics? Well, it really all depends on how far we can take this technology. If it's scalable to any level we desire, then you can expect longer battery life in your every day electronics. You can also expect a wider variety of small electronics available for use. With a smaller battery comes smaller electronics!
Some of the possible applications could trickle over into the use of Augmented Reality devices, much like Google Glass. Think of being able to have a small device that can attach to your favorite sunglasses, and create an augmented reality experience regardless of what your glasses are. There are, of course, other technological advances required to make this a reality. However, being able to power these devices is just as much of a challenge as being able to make them function in the first place!
Regardless of the future potential uses, it is good to know that we can create flexible batteries. It allows a much greater range of usefulness in a world that is becoming more and more integrated with technology!