Power Paper Ltd. Develops Paper-Thin BatteriesFebruary 18, 2001 by Jeff Shepard
Power Paper Ltd. (Israel) has developed Power Paper, a new battery technology that allows open-celled batteries to be printed on paper or packages like ink. The new ultra-thin, flexible batteries are about 0.5mm thick and are composed of five layers of zinc and manganese oxide. Because they do not contain any heavy metals, they are recognized as being environmentally safe, according to IEC 86-1-1996, as well as IS 1738.
Important features of the new technology include the fact that, unlike conventional batteries, they require no casing to hold battery chemicals. Power Paper can be printed, pasted or laminated onto paper, plastic and other media. The company claims that they are customizable in virtually any shape and size. Power Paper believes that the cells can be fabricated for approximately $0.01 per square-inch. One square-inch of Power Paper printed cell will be able to provide 1.5V, with a capacity of over 15mAh. The devices have a two-year shelf life and can be used in multiple combinations for higher voltages. The operating temperature range extends from 0 to 50 degrees C.
“The global movement toward smaller, thinner electronic products is fueling a rising demand for flexible, ultra-thin batteries, but until now the only solutions that are thin enough have been inflexible, hazardous and expensive," commented Baruch Levanon, CEO of Power Paper Ltd. “By finding a way to eliminate the rigid case, lower the cost and produce an environmentally-friendly cell that is no thicker than a Band-Aid, we have redefined the battery and made it possible to tailor a power source to fit almost any size, shape and form factor requirements without the limitations imposed by conventional battery housings."
Possible applications of the new technology include disposable microelectronic applications such as single-use medical devices, smart cards and smart tags, as well as multimedia enhancements for entertainment items, novelties and electronics packaging. Power Paper is currently licensing its technology for non-rechargeable applications. A similar rechargeable battery is under development.
Power Paper reports that International Paper (IP, Purchase, NY) has already licensed the technology from them. IP's spokesperson, Jenny Boardman, stated, "The number one reason for using the batteries in packaging would be the marketing advantage that would allow you to reach consumers one more time with an advertising or marketing or promotional message."