S. Korean scientists develop bendable battery

Country's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology says it has developed the "world's first" imprintable and bendable lithium-ion battery, thus paving the way for flexible mobile handsets.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor

South Korean scientists have published a paper stating the development of the "world's first" imprintable and bendable lithium-ion battery that is more stable. This could pave the way for flexible mobile handsets in the near future.

According to Yonhap News Agency's report Tuesday, the scientists from the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology and nine other collaborators from foreign institutes worked together to develop the new battery technology. The new rechargeable battery uses nanomaterials that are applied to any surface to create fluid-like polymer electrolytes, unlike conventional batteries that use liquefied electrolytes.

"Conventional lithium-ion batteries that use liquefied electrolytes had problems with safety as the film that separates electrolytes may melt under heat, in which case the positive and negative [charge] may come in contact," said the country's Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, which co-funded the research.

"Because the new battery uses flexible but solid materials, and not liquids, it can be expected to show a much higher level of stability than conventional rechargeable batteries."

This new development could spur the creation of flexible mobile devices such as the prototypes displayed by Samsung Electronics during the Consumer Electronics Show 2013 held in the U.S. last week.

Brian Berkeley, senior vice president of Samsung Display in San Jose, said then the company's Youm brand of flexible OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screen display will open up new opportunities to phonemakers and app developers as consumers change the way they interact with their phones.


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