Often, when I read about new technologies, they remind me of something Gene Roddenberry wrote into a Star Trek episode. It's really cool and amazing, but, you know, Gene already "envisioned" it, so everything else is just production details.
But this new battery, developed by researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is so amazing Roddenberry must be rolling in his grave wishing he'd thought of it.
According to the Royal Society of Chemistry article, this battery boasts the following incredibly cool traits:
- It's made of nanocomposite paper, infused with carbon nanotubes - which means you can print it, roll it up and bend it - just like paper - and it won't lose its effectiveness or efficiency. Plus, like paper, it's really light and thin. Great news for battery-powered toy airplanes.
- It uses ionic liquid as an electrolyte. Ionic liquid is a liquid salt and contains no water. Therefore, it won't freeze or evaporate. This means you can use this battery in temperatures ranging from 300 degrees Fahrenheit to 100 below zero.
- It can use body fluids as an electrolyte so you can leave out the ionic liquid and use it in pacemakers and other internal devices. Your own blood, sweat, tears, urine, whatever, will activate the battery device. No more icky chemicals, separated from your heart by a thin layer of metal.
- It's environmentally safe.
- This is the most incredible part: It's actually cheap to make. They just have to figure out how to manufacture it cheaply.
There's more, much more, but I think you can probably see from those five examples how significant this battery could be.