Fully printed rechargeable batteries for printed sensors

23 March 2021
Flexible printed batteries integrated into printed sensor systems could be used for medical purposes, food packaging labels and wearables. Source: InnovationLab

InnovationLab and Evonik are partnering to bring what they claim is the first fully printed, flexible rechargeable, solid-state batteries for integration into printed sensor systems.

InnovationLab will use Evonik’s metal-free Taettooz printable battery materials in its high-speed printed electronics to build ultra-thin printed batteries that are flexible, safer and more environmentally friendly than traditional metal-based batteries.

The companies said they can produce this type of printed rechargeable battery in volume through InnovationLab’s printing process. Evonik’s material is not charged during the production process and can be powered up after printing, allowing the company to produce the flexible batteries in standard production facilities instead of a specialized environment, saving costs. Additionally, these light and thin batteries can be easily disposed of in ways that are greener than current battery platforms.

The Taettooz printed battery materials uses redox polymers instead of metal or metal compounds. This allows the material to be free from liquid electrolytes and cannot leak like traditional rechargeable batteries.

Flexible, printable electronics have gathered steam in the last few years as the idea of foldable or rollable phones, tablets and other devices have captured interest from consumers. Additionally, flexible electronics could pave the way for a new number of wearables that could be used to monitor fitness or health data and some scientists have even developed flexible, wearable patches that could administer drugs to patients.

Adding flexible batteries to printed sensor systems is another stage that will allow these developments to continue to move forward. Furthermore, this technology could be used for other applications such as smart labels for food packaging and supply-chain logistics, giving information to consumers or workers on the status of the packages or for tracking.

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