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Sci Adv. 2017 Jun 16;3(6):e1602051. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1602051. eCollection 2017 Jun.

Flexible and stretchable power sources for wearable electronics.

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Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, University of California Berkeley, 508 Cory Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, Princeton University, D 428 Engineering Quadrangle, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA.


Flexible and stretchable power sources represent a key technology for the realization of wearable electronics. Developing flexible and stretchable batteries with mechanical endurance that is on par with commercial standards and offer compliance while retaining safety remains a significant challenge. We present a unique approach that demonstrates mechanically robust, intrinsically safe silver-zinc batteries. This approach uses current collectors with enhanced mechanical design, such as helical springs and serpentines, as a structural support and backbone for all battery components. We show wire-shaped batteries based on helical band springs that are resilient to fatigue and retain electrochemical performance over 17,000 flexure cycles at a 0.5-cm bending radius. Serpentine-shaped batteries can be stretched with tunable degree and directionality while maintaining their specific capacity. Finally, the batteries are integrated, as a wearable device, with a photovoltaic module that enables recharging of the batteries.


Wearable power sourses; flexible batteries; integrated wearable power systems; stretchable batteries

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