Sprayable Battery: Move over spray-tan, there's a new aerosol in town.
Sprayable Battery: Move over spray-tan, there's a new aerosol in town.Courtesy Alex Walker
Researchers from Rice University have rethought the battery. Typically, batteries are made up of 5 layers: a positive and negative electrode, each with a metal current collector, and a polymer separator. These layers are manufactured in sheets and then rolled into cylinders. Rice researchers realized that each of these layers were available, or could be created, in sprayable form. They used lithium titanium oxide and lithium cobalt oxide for the anode and cathode, existing metallic paints and carbon nanotube mixtures for the current collectors, and a chemical hodge-podge with a very lengthy name for the separator layer. The result is an ultra thin (a fraction of a millimeter thick) lithium ion battery.
In their first experiment, researchers sprayed each consecutive layer onto nine bathroom tiles, topped with a solar cell. The resulting batteries were able to power 40 LEDs for six hours.
In its current state, this method is too toxic to be used outside a controlled environment, but with a little tweaking, a safe alternative will be found. At that point, any surface could be a battery!

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

blondie's picture
blondie says:

This is a really cool idea, but my question is, would we have to reenvent our tecnology to be able to recive such a charge as a sprayed on battery wall? And if so would this new tech. be very expensive?

posted on Sat, 07/28/2012 - 2:22pm
Rebecca Anne Davis's picture
Rebecca Anne Davis says:

I think the supplies you would need for this technology would be highly expensive and it would be a waste since we already have batteries that are dangerous enough and it would just raise prices on everything and make it harder for the money to go towards something that actually matters.

posted on Sat, 08/18/2012 - 4:46pm
Ben's picture
Ben says:

The experiment is visible at

See video

posted on Tue, 02/11/2014 - 9:29am

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