U.S. engineers have created a battery that uses plastic, not metal, to conduct current, combining a capacitor’s power with a battery’s storage capacity.

Batteries have limits, said Tayhas Palmore, a Brown University associate professor of engineering. They have to be recharged. They can be expensive. Most of all, they don’t deliver a lot of power. Another option is capacitors. These components, found in electronic devices, can deliver that big blast of power. But they don’t have much storage capacity. So what if you combined elements of both a battery and a capacitor?

That’s the question Palmore answered with Hyun-Kon Song, a former postdoctoral research associate at Brown who now works as a researcher at LG Chem Ltd.

They created a battery hybrid that, as a capacitor, can be rapidly charged then discharged to deliver power. Like a battery, it can store and deliver that charge over long periods of time, with twice the storage capacity of an electric double-layer capacitor. And, said Palmore, it delivers more than 100 times the power of a standard alkaline battery.

The research is fully explained in the journal Advanced Materials.

G. Tayhas R. Palmore, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Engineering
Department of Engineering

Brown University, Box D

Email: [email protected]