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Paper Battery

A paper battery is an item that functions simultaneously as both a capacitor and battery. It’s a flexible, light device composed of carbon nanotubes bonded to the paper (cellulose). It is essentially formed by using cellulose and carbon nanotubes. It is formed by the carbon nanotubes infusion with paper made from an Ionic Liquid used as an electrolyte. Paper batteries are a fragile, flexible producing and storage system made by combining carbon nanotubes and the traditional cellulose-based paper. The nanomaterials are one-dimensional objects with tiny dimensions. It can be bent and twisted, cut by cutting or molding into any shape you want. A paper battery functions as a high-energy battery in addition to a supercapacitor. That allows the battery to offer continuous, long-term energy production and bursts of energy. It is safe, environmentally friendly, and all that a traditional battery can’t be.


The idea for Paper Battery drew from various disciplines that required expert knowledge in materials science, energy storage, and chemicals. On August 7, 2007, a team of researchers located at RENSSELAER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE, headed by Drs. Robert Linhardt, John H.Broadbent, Pulickel M.Ajayan, Omkaram Nalamasu, who shared the joint appointment in engineering and materials science, created The Paper Battery, also known as Nano Composite Paper. As of December, Yi Cui and his team at STANFORD UNIVERSITY successfully made an actual prototype with an output voltage of 1.5V.

Construction of Paper Battery:

Below are three methods to make paper batteries:
1. The first method is to fabricate manganese dioxide and zinc anode and cathode. Batteries are then printed on paper using a standard silk screen press.
The paper is coated with carbon nanotubes that are aligned and serve as electrodes. The paper is immersed into an Ionic liquid solution that acts as an electrolyte.
2. The second technique is more complex and involves the growth of nanotubes on the silicon substrate. In the gaps of the matrix, they are filled with cellulose. Once the matrix has dried, the cellulose-cellulose mixture nanotubes are removed. That is how sheets of paper comprised of carbon nanotubes form. Two of these sheets are put to form supercapacitors containing an Ionic liquid such as human sweat, blood or urine used to create an electrolyte.
3. The third method is a straightforward technique built in a lab. The process involves spreading a specially designed carbon nanotube-based ink on the paper in a rectangular shape coated with an Ionic solution. A thin layer made of lithium then bonded to the other face of the document. Aluminum rods are then joined to transfer current between two electrodes.

Paper Battery

Principle of Paper Battery:

The battery generates electricity in the same manner as traditional lithium-ion batteries. However, all the components are integrated into a light, flexible paper. The batteries are made by combining cellulose and an infusion of aligned carbon nanotubes. The electrolyte and the ions that charge the device can be altered depending on the application that the batteries are used for. A standard Li-ion battery may be integrated into a cellulose nanotube composite.

Working of Paper Battery:

The internal operation of the paper battery is similar to the operation of traditional batteries, with each producing around 1.5V.
If one recalls the past, batteries operate in a way in which positively charged particles known as particles called ions or negative charges known as electrons are moved between positive electrodes known as anode and the negative electrode, known as cathode. Electrons flow from the anode to the cathode through the conductor since the electrolyte acts as an insulator and does not provide a straightforward way for electrons to move.
Carbon nanotubes work as cathodes, similar to a specific battery made of paper. The metal acts as the anode, and paper acts as the separator.
The chemical reaction between the electrolyte and metal results in the production of ions, while chemical reactions between electrolyte and carbon result in the production of electrons. The electrons travel from the cathode towards the anode via the circuit external to.

Li-ION Papper Battery:

The Nanotubes make the paper black, function as electrodes, allowing the storage device to transmit electricity. The device is a lithium-ion battery and super-capacitor that holds charge as batteries but does not contain liquid electrolytes. The paper battery gives an extended, constant power output instead of the typical battery explosion of high energy. The electrolyte ionic absorbed by the newspaper is liquid salt devoid of water. Therefore it can’t melt or freeze. There is a lot of research going on all over the globe to replace this electrolyte with blood, body fluids, sweat, blood etc.


It is Flexible, light, and durable; it can be rolled up or crunched, then cut, and shaped into any form. Nanocomposite papers are compatible with many electrolytes like sweat, urine, blood etc. If we pile 500 sheets in a ream, it’s 500 times the power. If we tear each sheet of paper, we reduce power by 50 percent. That allows us to regulate the power and voltage issues. It is non-toxic and can be utilized to power pacemakers and RFID tags. It’s very beneficial when generating a large amount of energy to operate, such as electric vehicles.

Limitations of Paper Battery:

The devices currently are just about a couple of inches wide and must be increased to the size of newspapers to be economically feasible. Carbon nanotubes can be expensive. The concept is still being explored in laboratories, and a viable commercial paper battery could take between 40 and 60 years before it becomes an actual possibility. The research in nanotechnology to make nanotubes on a mass scale are promising.

Application of Paper Battery:

Paper batteries are practical in applications that require portability and size as the necessity. Electronics of today, such as smartphones, watches and smartcards, and digital cameras, meet the requirement for small batteries that are durable and non-toxic.
Wearable Computers The most recent real-time example of computer wearables is Google Glass. It’s an everyday spectacle with an optical head-mounted display. Glass is a computing device in the shape of spectacles. It also has an optical display that is mounted on the head. That lets the user make use of the phone as a smart device.
It is also a great option to power low-power devices such as wristwatches, calculators, and wireless devices for communication like mice, Bluetooth keys, headphones, etc.


The variety of possibilities for paper batteries results from their significant advantages compared with conventional battery technology. They can be constructed in any shape and dimension to satisfy the needs of each user. This can be recharged, and they are less expensive and weight, leading to new applications. Paper batteries can solve all of the issues related to electrical energy storage. But the actual reality is quite a ways off, even although the research is promising.