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Monday, January 11, 2010

Japanese Researchers Seeking to Print Out Li-polymer Battery

A Japanese research group developed a lithium polymer battery that can be manufactured by printing technology.

The group is led by Advanced Materials Innovation Center (AMIC) of Mie Industry and Enterprise Support Center (MIESC), a Japan-based incorporated foundation.

The sheet-shaped battery is expected to be used with a flexible solar battery or display and to be attached to a curved surface. If the battery is integrated with a solar battery formed on a flexible substrate, it is possible to realize a sheet that can be used both as a power generator and a power storage, AMIC said.

Because the battery is made by using printing technology, it can be reduced in thickness, increased in area and laminated. Furthermore, when combined with a roll-to-roll production method, its costs can be reduced, AMIC said.

The lithium polymer battery was developed in a research project participated by MIESC, Toppan Printing Co Ltd, Shin-Kobe Electric Machinery Co Ltd, Kureha Elastomer Co Ltd, Kinsei Matec Co Ltd, Meisei Chemical Works Ltd, Mie University, Suzuka National College of Technology and Mie Prefecture Industrial Research Institute.

They prototyped two types of batteries. One has an output voltage of about 4V at a room temperature while the other has an output voltage of about 2V. The thickness of the battery is about 500μm, but the battery capacity was not disclosed. Its negative and positive electrodes were formed on a flexible substrate by using printing technology.

This time, the research group used a normal sheet-shaped flexible substrate but employed a printing technology that can be applied to roll-to-roll production, it said. When a roll-to-roll production method is used, the thickness of the flexible substrate can be reduced, enabling to manufacture thin batteries.

The group did not use a printing technology to package polymer electrolyte this time. It did not disclose the details of the polymer electrolyte or the negative or positive electrode materials.

The research project is a three-year project that will end in March 2011. In the final year, the research group plans to improve manufacturing technologies for commercial production, seek appropriate applications of the battery and set numerical targets such as of battery capacity.

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