A flexible, rechargeable silver oxide-zinc battery. (Credit: UC San Diego)

A team of researchers has developed a flexible, rechargeable silver oxide-zinc battery with a 5–10 times greater areal energy density than state of the art. The battery also is easier to manufacture; while most flexible batteries need to be manufactured in sterile conditions, under vacuum, this one can be screen printed in normal lab conditions. The device can be used in flexible, stretchable electronics for wearables as well as soft robotics.

The new battery has higher capacity than any of the flexible batteries currently available on the market. That’s because the battery has a much lower impedance — the resistance of an electric circuit or device to alternative current. The lower the impedance, the better the battery performance against high current discharge.

The printed battery cells were recharged for more than 80 cycles, without showing any major signs of capacity loss. The cells also remained functional in spite of repeated bending and twisting. The battery’s exceptional energy density is due to its silver oxide-zinc (AgO-Zn) chemistry.

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