Paper Batteries

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The Batteries form a significant part of many electronic devices. Typical electrochemical batteries or cells convert chemical energy into electrical energy. Batteries based on the charging ability are classified into primary and secondary cells. Secondary cells are widely used because of their rechargeable nature. Presently, battery takes up a huge amount of space and contributes to a large part of the device’s weight. There is strong recent interest in ultra-thin, flexible, safe energy storage devices to meet the various design and power needs of modern gadgets. New research suggests that carbon nanotubes may eventually provide the best hope of implementing the flexible batteries which can shrink our gadgets even more.

The paper batteries could meet the energy demands of the next generation gadgets. A paper battery is a flexible, ultra-thin energy storage and production device formed by combining carbon nanotubes with a conventional sheet of cellulose-based paper. A paper battery acts as both a high-energy battery and super capacitor, combining two components that are separate in traditional electronics. This combination allows the battery to provide both long-term, steady power production and bursts of energy. Non-toxic, flexible paper batteries have the potential to power the next generation of electronics, medical devices and hybrid vehicles, allowing for radical new designs and medical technologies.

An electric battery is a device consisting of one or more electrochemical cells that convert stored chemical energy into electrical energy. Each cell contains a positive terminal, or cathode, and a negative terminal, or anode. Electrolytes allow ions to move between the electrodes and terminals, which allows current to flow out of the battery to perform work.

Batteries convert chemical energy directly to electrical energy. A battery consists of some number of voltaic cells. Each cell consists of connected in series by a conductive electrolyte containing anions and cations. One half-cell includes electrolyte and the negative electrode, the electrode to which anions (negatively charged ions) migrate; the other half-cell includes electrolyte and the positive electrode to which cations (positively charged ions) migrate. Redox reactions power the battery. Cations are reduced (electrons are added) at the cathode during charging, while anions are oxidized (electrons are removed) at the anode during discharge.

Primary (single-use or "disposable") batteries are used once and discarded; the electrode materials are irreversibly changed during discharge. Common examples are the alkaline battery used for flashlights and a multitude of portable devices. Secondary (rechargeable batteries) can be discharged and recharged multiple times; the original composition of the electrodes can be restored by reverse current. Examples include the lead-acid batteries used in vehicles and lithium ion batteries used for portable electronics. Batteries come in many shapes and sizes, from miniature cells used to power hearing aids and wristwatches to battery banks the size of rooms that provide standby power for telephone exchanges and computer data centers.

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