Made of millions of interconnected carbon nanotubes, researchers discovered paper is able to support carbon nanotubes better than other normal household items.
“Taking advantage of the mature paper technology, low cost, light and high-performance energy-storage are realized by using conductive paper as current collectors and electrodes,” Stanford researchers noted in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences report.
Performance of the nanomaterial withstood acidic solutions, or when it was crumbled, folded, or otherwise manipulated.
“Society really needs a low-cost, high-performance energy storage device, such as batteries and simple super capacitors,” said Yi Cui, Stanford assistant professor of materials science and engineering, during an interview with Reuters.
After a sheet of paper is coated with the carbon nanotube ink, it is dipped into a "lithium-containing" solution that also has electrolytes -- the electrolytes are necessary to generate current.
The paper battery also could be used in hybrid or electric vehicles, researchers note, while also making batteries last longer. If Stanford researchers are successful with its research, it's possible paper electronics could also be developed, but that is a long-term goal of the project.
The idea of "paintable" energy storage isn't new, but very few researchers have been able to develop realistic technologies.