Upgrading flexible battery options
The Materials Innovation Centre (MATIC) is currently undertaking research aimed at informing the next generation of flexible batteries which, unlike traditional batteries, are designed to bend or twist, and are popular in applications such as wearable electronics and smart cards. MATIC carried out an Engineering SOTA review in order to identify which specific materials could be suitable as anodes, cathodes and current collectors for a flexible battery. A SOTA review draws on recent research and technology literature for a particular topic and then summarises the main evidence points, providing an indication of robustness for each evidence point and identifying key uncertainties and evidence gaps. The SOTA review on materials for flexible batteries provided a critical survey of the literature and emphasised the need for further specialised testing. Electrochemical monitoring and microstructural characterisation then began on the selected materials.
In addition, MATIC is also exploring the possibility of using electrolyte systems and is working closely with partners, including TWI and Zinergy UK Ltd, to electrochemically monitor the corrosion behaviour of the selected materials in the electrolytes systems. Longer term, the research is intended to contribute to the extension of flexible battery lifetimes, with associated benefits for product development, optimisation and production.