Feeds

Korean boffins crack art of bendy batteries

Discovery could herald more flexible phones

The next step in data security

South Korean boffins have discovered the secret to flexible, shape-conforming lithium ion batteries in what could be a major step on the road to flexible smartphones.

The researchers, led by professor Lee Sang-young of South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, made the discovery by developing “fluid-like” or “shape-conformable” polymer electrolytes.

These not only make the battery more flexible but also enhance stability compared to conventional batteries, which use liquefied electrolytes placed into square-shaped, inflexible cases, according to the Korean Joongang Daily.

“Conventional lithium-ion batteries that use liquefied electrolytes had safety problems as the film that separates the electrolytes may melt under heat, in which case the positive and negative elements may come in contact, causing an explosion,” said an official at the Korean science ministry, quoted by the 'paper.

“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.”

The new batteries are apparently created by spreading the polymer electrolytes on electrodes and then blasting them with ultra-violet rays for 30 seconds – a process faster than that used to manufacture conventional batteries.

The reality of flexible mobile devices is still some years off, but with this announcement, and Samsung’s various ambitious concept designs for bendy tablets and foldable OLED displays, speculation about flexible electronics no longer seems like quite such a contortion.

The research paper dated December 2012, was made public by the Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology on Tuesday. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Bacon-related medical breakthrough wins Ig Nobel prize
Is there ANYTHING cured pork can't do?
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.