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Yarn-Like Rechargeable Zinc Battery Could Power Smart Clothes and Wearables


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ZIB-powered luminescent panel

A stretchable zinc ion battery-powered luminescent panel.

Credit: ACS Nano

In a development that could lead to washable, sensor-laden smart clothes and wearable electronics, researchers at the City University of Hong Kong have molded a rechargeable zinc-ion battery into an elastic yarn. The researchers made the thread-like rechargeable zinc battery by twisting carbon nanotube fibers into yarn. One piece of yarn is coated with zinc to make an anode and another with manganese dioxide to serve as a cathode. The team then wound the two yarn pieces on an elastic fiber, soaked it with a water-absorbing gel, and encased the device in elastic silicone and a water repellent.

The yarn battery has an energy density of 54.8 milliwatt-hours for each cubic centimeter, equating to about three times as much as conventional thin-film lithium-ion batteries. In addition, the new battery retains more than 98 percent of its capacity after 500 recharging cycles.

From IEEE Spectrum
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