With the world clamouring for ever smaller, thinner, more powerful and more flexible electronic devices, scientists are constantly engaged in efforts to make power sources smaller. But until now, the only solutions that have been thin enough tend to be expensive, inflexible and environmentally hazardous.
This is where Power Paper Ltd steps in. Based in Israel, the company has developed ultra-thin, caseless, low-cost batteries that are almost as flexible as paper.
Just 0.5 mm thick and customisable in virtually any shape and size, Power Paper batteries free product designers from the constraints of rigid housings, making them ideal for disposable microelectronic applications such as single-use medical devices and smart cards.
Customers license the technology, purchase the proprietary materials from Power Paper, and produce their customised power source in-house on standard silkscreen printing presses, permitting easy integration into their production and assembly processes.
Power Paper utilises Zinc and MnO2-based cathode and anode layers fabricated from proprietary ink-like materials that can be printed, pasted or laminated onto virtually any substrate, including paper. This not only gives the cells flexibility but also produces a dry battery that eliminates the need for a hermetically sealed metal case. It also removes conventional limitations on shape and size.
A one-square-inch Power Paper printed cell will provide 1.5V with a capacity of over 15mAh and will hold for over a two-year shelf life. Cells can be used in multiple combinations for higher voltages. All the ingredients are non-toxic and safe, permitting disposal without endangering the environment.
Because it uses standard production equipment, requires no clean- or dry-room conditions and eliminates the cost of the case required in traditional battery manufacturing, a Power Paper cell can be produced for approximately 1 cent per square inch.
The finished Power Paper cell can be integrated with printed circuits and microchips to perform functions such as controlling prescription drug injections, monitoring smart tags or transmitting RFID label information over long distances, or adding lights or sounds to a puzzle, greeting card or product box. This permits virtually seamless integration of a power source within a microelectronic device and opens the door to new applications that were never before possible.
‘The global movement toward smaller, thinner electronic products is fueling a rising demand for flexible, ultra-thin batteries.’ said Baruch Levanon, CEO of Power Paper Ltd. ‘By finding a way to eliminate the rigid case, lower the cost and produce an environmentally friendly cell that is no thicker than a Band-Aid, we have redefined the battery and made it possible to tailor a power source to fit almost any size, shape and form factor requirements without the limitations imposed by conventional battery housings.’