3. Flexible, stretchable battery that powers wearable sensors
Nanoengineers at the University of California at San Diego have developed a flexible, stretchable, rechargeable battery for wearable devices, according to new research.
The batteries are made from a hyperelastic polymer material that consists of isoprene and polystyrene in a combination known as SIS. SIS allows the batteries to stretch to twice their size without causing any damage. The ink on the printed zinc batteries is made of zinc silver oxide and SIS.
Zinc batteries are known as being non-rechargeable, so the researchers added bismuth oxide to the batteries to make them rechargeable.
The prototype battery has about 1/5 the capacity of rechargeable hearing aid batteries and is about 1/10 as thin.
The batteries are also cheaper to produce because it uses commercially-available materials to make. Because they are screen printed batteries, one battery costs 50 cents, whereas other rechargeable batteries cost about $5.