A group of researchers have create battery that is thin, flexible and stretchable up to 3 times its size. They’ve achieved the flexibility without comprising performance or power, which makes it a pretty exciting development towards flexible devices being an actual thing.
There are currently two approaches to this flexible technology, and both have their advantages. The first of which is the “pop-up” architecture which you see in the image above: These are small embedded circuits connected by wires and widely spaced. This allows for circuits, but actually doesn’t work for a stretchable battery as that would need the components to be more tightly packed together.
The second concept uses long S-shaped wires that expand when stretched, then contract to their original position. Their shape also allows them to be placed in the small spaces between the components of a battery. Co-author of the study, Yonggang Huang from Northwestern University, describes it as being similar in a way to yarn:
“When we stretch the battery, the wavy interconnecting lines unfurl, much like yarn unspooling. And we can stretch the device a great deal and still have a working battery.”
Pair this with Samsung’s flexible Youm display technology, and we’re getting closer than ever to seeing a working bendable phone! Why we would need such a thing, researchers have probably yet to figure out…