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Nanotech Helps Create Paper-based Batteries

An article over on Standford University's website claims that its post doctoral students, in the lab of Professor Yi Cui, Materials Science and Engineering, have created a battery using paper. They simply dipped the paper into ink infused with carbon nanotubes and silver nanowire. They even claim that the battery still works when the paper is crumbled into a ball.

"Society really needs a low-cost, high-performance energy storage device, such as batteries and simple supercapacitors," said Yi Cui, assistant professor of materials science and engineering. He also released a report on the research, called "Highly Conductive Paper for Energy Storage Devices, for publication this week here in the Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences.

Cui goes on to call the nanomaterials "special," their diameters small enough within the ink to stick to fibrous paper, making it more durable than the previously tested ink-on-plastic. And while the battery paper still performs when crumbled, Cui said that the battery remains durable even when the paper is folded, or if it's been dipped in "basic solutions."

"This technology has potential to be commercialized within a short time," said Peidong Yang, professor of chemistry at the University of California-Berkeley. "I don't think it will be limited to just energy storage devices," he said. "This is potentially a very nice, low-cost, flexible electrode for any electrical device."

This may be a great gag gift by electrifying a little toilet seat "paper work."