A group of developers from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed an integrated paper material that is able to store and release electricity. The created sample was barely the size of a post stamp but was able to produce 2.3 V of electricity. The investigators' target is creating a ream so large it could power an electric car.

How did they manage this? The battery contains carbon nanotubes, each about one millionth of a centimetre thick, which act as an electrode. The nanotubes are embedded in a sheet of paper soaked in ionic liquid electrolytes, which conduct the electricity. The structure is so flexible that it can be rolled up, folded or cut and the ionic liquid can even be human sweat, which makes it able for medicine applications.

The battery basic materials are paper and carbon, which makes it also a very safe alternative for electricity storage (lead acid batteries anyone?). Nevertheless, the nanotechnology that is used to create this paper battery is very expensive, so any prospective automotive application would require sheets of the size of newspapers. The investigator's ultimate target is producing the paper using a newspaper-type roller.

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[Source: BBC News]