In a ground-breaking invention, scientists from Nanyang Technology University (NTU) in Singapore successfully developed a paper-thin biodegradable zinc battery. The battery is about 0.4mm thick which is roughly as thick as two strands of human hair.
The new zinc batteries can replace the lithium-ion batteries we use today
The new material could sustainably power flexible wearable electronics of the future. The battery is made up of hydrogel and electrodes printed onto both sides of a sheet of hydrogel-reinforced cellulose paper. To increase the conductivity of the battery, the electrodes were coated with a layer of gold thin foil.
The battery is flexible and could be used for versatile electronics
The new battery could one day be used for flexible and wearable electronic systems such as foldable smartphones, biomedical sensors, and health monitors.
The new battery is eco-friendly
Remarkably, at the end of its life span, it can simply be buried in the soil where it can break down completely within a month.
The NTU researchers successfully powered a small electric fan for up to 45 minutes with a 1.5 in x 1.5 in (4 cm x 4 cm) square printed paper battery. Even bending the battery did not interrupt the supply of power to the fan.