Spray-on battery turns *anything* into a power source.
Scientific American takes a page from the Acme corporation and introduces the world’s first battery in an aerosol can:
The paint-on battery, like all lithium ion batteries, consists of five layers: a positive current collector, a cathode that attracts positively charged ions, an ion-conducting separator, an anode to attract negative ions, and a negative current collector. For each layer, the challenge was to find a way to mix the electrically conductive material with various polymers to create a paint that could be sprayed onto surfaces.
Neelam Singh, a member of the team of materials scientists and chemists from Rice University in Houston and Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium and lead author of the paper, says, “It was really exciting to find out. Can we really paint a battery on various surfaces and convert any object into a storage device?”
To test their design, they applied the battery paints onto ceramic bathroom tiles, glass, a flexible transparency film, stainless steel and the side of a beer stein. In each case, the battery worked. In one experiment, they hooked a solar cell to one of the batteries and powered an LED display.
They’re trying to figure out a way to use this to paint houses – turning your house into a giant solar panel.