Will our gadgets, like tablets, become even more thinner? Right now, Toshiba Excite 10 LE is the thinnest tablet at 0.30 inch. Apple's new iPad, the current market leader, is 0.37 inch thick, thicker than its predecessor iPad 2, that clocked in a thickness of 0.34 inch. Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 is actually a few millimeters thinner than iPad 2.
Battery size had always been very limiting to gadgets, like tablets. It tends to be the largest single component of any mobile device, for that matter. But, a new flexible battery, developed by scientists from Korea, may prove to be a game changer.
Scientists at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), developed a "razor-thin" lithium-ion battery (LIB), considered to be the best candidate for flexible energy source. But the development of a flexible LIB had been hampered by the limited materials which can be used for its production. Its performance, when it comes to retaining voltage, has been insufficient to making it "difficult to apply to flexible consumer electronics like rollable displays".
What's new in this flexible battery developed in KAIST, is that it retains its voltage, although it is flexible.
The materials used for it is another thing that makes this flexible battery stands out. According to PhysOrg, the research team, led by Professor Keon Jae Lee from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at KAIST, had developed "a high performance flexible LIB structured with high density inorganic thin films by using a universal transfer approach."
Substrate of mica, a very abundant material, m was used in the production of the thin film LIB. It is used as insulators, such as in capacitors, in electronics, and in providing structure for heating wires in in heating elements as it can withstand up to 900 °C.
The thin film LIB is transferred onto polymer substrates, used in bank notes, through a "simple physical delamination" that cause layers of the material to separate, of "sacrificial substrates" that is, the substrate of mica, from which the film is lifted resulting to an ultra flat surface.
"The advent of a high performance flexible thin film battery will accelerate the development of next-generation fully flexible electronic systems in combination with existing flexible components such as display, memory, and LED," said Professor Lee.
Mass production for this technology is definitely in the horizon. To facilitate this, Lee and his team is currently looking into "a laser lift-off technology" as well as 3D stacking to improve the charge of the flexible LIB battery.
Whichever tech company snaps this battery up may soon find itself with the world's thinnest tablet.