Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Paper + Nanotubes = Battery?

by Eric Carlson, CPP - Chainalytics
I know that many of you are not reading the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, but last December they first published research coming out of Stanford indicating that printing batteries on ordinary paper might very well be possible in the near future. By combining carbon nanotubes with ink and printing on ordinary paper, the research found that the resulting ‘battery’ performance encouraging even when the paper was folded, bent or after adhesive tape was removed from the surface. Current performance requires about a kilogram of the ink/nanotube matrix to power a 40 watt bulb for 1 hour.

I know that doesn’t sound like much capacity now, but think back to the early ‘90s and think about the size and capacity of your cell phone … if you had one ($2-4k)… then think about what the latest iPhone can do? Who knows maybe one day the walls in your house will be painted with some version of this ink to help power your electric lights!

Even more exciting is the thought of active packaging powered by these printed batteries! Packages that give you a message about the product or sale, maybe even flashing graphics activated as a consumer passes in the aisle.

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