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One of the biggest problems with batteries is the weight and bulky nature of their packaging. It is the major limiting factors for electric vehicles. Several years ago, to overcome this problem, scientists started researching ultra-thin batteries which would be able to hold the same charge but in a much smaller space. In 2009 researchers from the University of Stanford announced that they had created a battery out of a single piece of plain copier paper by using carbon nanotubes to store energy and generate electricity.
The announcement of such a thin battery led some to predict that one day someone would invent printable battery technology.
That day has arrived.
A team at Rice University has made a battery from paint. They created a lithium ion battery which they are able to paint onto virtually any surface.
In tests they combined the battery with a small solar cell and found that the system worked as a perfect energy generating unit. In one test the batteries were even able to power light-emitting diodes that spelled out "RICE" for six hours, with a steady 2.4 volts.
Neelam Singh, the team leader, said that she can already imagine integrating paintable battery technology with paintable solar cells.
They have already filed for a patent, and are now looking to use the technology to create batteries that can be connected together like LEGO and attached to anything.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com