Paper battery is engineered to use a spacer formed largely of cellulose (the major constituent of paper). It incorporates nanoscopic scale structures to act as high surface-area electrodes to improve conductivity.
In addition to being unusually thin, paper batteries are flexible and environmentally-friendly, allowing integration into a wide range of products. Their functioning is similar to conventional chemical batteries with the important difference that they are non-corrosive and do not require extensive housing.
The composition of these batteries is what sets them apart from traditional batteries. Paper is abundant and self-sustaining, which makes paper cheap. Disposing of paper is also inexpensive since paper is combustible as well as biodegradable.
Using paper gives the battery a great degree of flexibility. The battery can be bent or wrapped around objects instead of requiring a fixed casing. Also, being a thin, flat sheet, the paper battery can easily fit into tight places, reducing the size and weight of the device it powers.
The use of paper increases the electron flow which is well suited for high performance applications. Paper allows for capillary action so fluids in batteries, such as electrolytes, can be moved without the use of an external pump.
Using paper in batteries increases the surface area that can be used to integrate reagents. The paper used in paper batteries can be supplemented to improve its performance characteristics.
Patterning techniques such as photolithography, wax printing, and laser micromachining are used to create hydrophobic and hydrophilic sections on the paper to create a pathway to direct the capillary action of the fluids used in batteries.
Although the advantages of paper batteries said above are quite impressive, many of the components that make them great, such as carbon nanotubes and patterning, are complicated and expensive.
1. Prone to tearing.
2. Nanotubes made from carbon are expensive due to use of procedures like electrolysis and laser ablation.
3. Should not be inhaled, as they can damage lungs.
The paper-like quality of the battery combined with the structure of the nanotubes embedded within gives them light weight and low cost, offering potential for portable electronics, aircraft, automobiles and toys (such as model aircraft).
The batteries employ nanotubes, potentially slowing commercial adoption due to excessive cost. Commercial adoption also requires larger devices. E.g., a newspaper-sized device could be powerful enough to power a car.
Paper can be integrated into several different forms of batteries, such as electrochemical batteries, biofuel cells, lithium-ion batteries, supercapacitors, and nanogenerators.