Polymer batteries for next-generation electronics

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Scientists from the University of Leeds believe that there is a new kind of polymer gel which can be used in order get a good performance from the rechargeable lithium batteries, without cutting down on performance.

Ian Wards FRS, a Physics professor at the University of Leeds has had developed a technology which includes the new polymer gel, and this has been licensed to the American company, Polystor Energy Corporation, that is now testing the batteries in order to figure out which how they can use this technology in the commercialization of cells, which can be used in the portable consumer electronics.

Professor Ward says that this gel can easily replace the liquid electrolytes which are currently used in the rechargeable lithium cells. Also the gel can be made into a thin film by fully automating a process which is fast, efficient and has a low cost as well.

Lots of portable consumer devices are laptops, digital cameras, MP3 players and mobile phones swear by the use of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries these days. The tradition batteries of this variety usually have a porous polymer film separator plus liquid chemical filler. This allows the lithium ion carrying charges to flow the power easily, as well as be a barrier to stop short circuiting.

The new polymer gel that been developed does not need this separator, says Ian Wards. They come up with patented manufacturing process called extrusion/lamination where it is kept between an anode and a cathode at the speed of ten m per minute. This makes it highly conductive strip which is only nanometers thick.

The polymer film which comes from this can be cut down into any required size, and this brings about the fully-automated process, that is cost effective and safe as well. The lamination fixes these electrodes together, thereby eliminating any chances inflammation by the liquid electrolyte and flammable solvent.

The polymer gel is going to be one of its kinds, we are told. Even though it looks like a gel, Ian Wards says, it is really 70% liquid, for it is used with the same principle of making a jelly. Here’s hoping the test results come out positive.

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