Polyu Researchers Develop Textile Lithium Battery

Market Expertz   |     May 30, 2019


A team of researchers at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) have created a highly flexible, high-energy textile lithium battery. The battery offers energy supply that is safer, more durable, and more stable for use, making it suitable for wearable electronics in various applications including Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking, intelligent textiles, healthcare devices, smartphones, and the Internet of things (IoT).

The newly launched lightweight textile lithium battery exhibits high energy density of over 450 Wh/L, superior flexibility, with a merging radius of less than 1mm, and foldability of more than a thousand cycles with marginal capacity degradation. The existing bendable lithium battery can only reach a bending radius of approximately 25 mm, along with much lower performance of 200 Wh/L. The textile lithium battery, which is less than 0.5 mm thick, is also equipped with fast charging/discharging capacity, and a longer life cycle as compared to conventional lithium batteries. Lithium batteries are currently in demand in the rechargeable batteries sector owing to its higher energy density and long life cycle. As compared to the large, heavy lithium battery, which is hard for use in wearable devices, scientists have been driven to develop bendable lithium battery, generally used in metal foils to collect current. The release of PolyU’s textile lithium battery will be the solution for bottlenecks over energy density, mechanical robustness, flexibility, and cycling stability. By employing PolyU’s technology of Polymer-Assisted Metal Deposition (PAMD), highly conductive metals like copper (Cu), and nickel (Ni) are uniformly deposited onto pre-processed fabrics.

These metallic fabrics, having low sheet resistance and large surface area, serve as current collectors in the battery. After adding active materials to act as cathode and anode, the metallic fabrics, along with separator and electrolyte, are accumulated into a textile lithium battery. The ITC team has conducted several tests that have proven the extremely high-mechanical stability, reliability, and safety of the textile battery when it undergoes deformation. On folding the battery repeatedly, or even crumpling it freely, it does not affect the voltage.