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Printable and flexible battery on paper for Digital Document Media (DDM) applications

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000033709D
Publication Date: 2004-Dec-23
Document File: 4 page(s) / 45K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

This invention describes a portable power source based on a printable and flexible thin battery on paper. A gel-like electrolyte is coated onto the paper that becomes an ionic conductor and serves as salt bridge. Electroactive materials are dispersed into suitable solvents to create paints that can coat on one side paper, followed by sandwiching or lamination to form the cathode and anode of a battery. The paper substrate acts as an ionic conductor in the printed area and an insulator in the non-printing area. The output voltage is about 1.0V to 1.5V. This battery is low cost, has a low profile and is flexible, which makes it possible to incorporate into current DDM devices.

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Printable and flexible battery on paper for Digital Document Media (DDM) applications

Stand-alone E-paper can be divided into three major components: display media (material to provide optical images), addressing system (electronic circuitry to drive the media) and power supply (energy source to drive the electronics). The first two components have been demonstrated in several prototypes.  However, they need external power supply such as batteries or electrical outlets that limit mobility and further miniaturization of the e-paper.

This invention describes a portable power source based on a printable and flexible thin battery on paper. A gel-like electrolyte is coated onto the paper that becomes an ionic conductor and serves as salt bridge. Electroactive materials are dispersed into suitable solvents to create paints that can coat on one side paper, followed by sandwiching or lamination to form the cathode and anode of a battery. The paper substrate acts as an ionic conductor in the printed area and an insulator in the non-printing area. The output voltage is about 1.0V to 1.5V. This battery is low cost, has a low profile and is flexible, which makes it possible to incorporate into current DDM devices.

The electrolyte is an aqueous solution of zinc chloride and a hydroscopic polymer (e.g. PVA or PAA). This polymer not only keeps an optimum degree of water content that maintains a high ionic conductivity, but also creates a liquid glue-like texture for easy printing. Electroactive materials such as manganese dioxide for cathode and zinc for anode are dispersed into the electrolyte. Acetylene carbon is used to enhance the conductivity in the cathode paint.

The paper acts both as an ionic conductor and an insulator, depends on the printing areas. One extension is to create battery stack of different voltage output on single piece of paper through printing and folding.

Example 1.

Preparation of electrolyte and substrate: 10g of polyvinyl alcohol (Mw=9-10k) is dissolved in 50g DI water, zinc chloride hydrate (72g) and 48g Ethanol are then...