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New method developed to 3D print lithium-ion batteries in nearly any shape

Lithium-ion batteries power everything from smartphones and tablets to e-cigarettes and electric cars. Until now, manufacturers have had to design their devices around standard battery sizes, and it limits the design options and capacities of consumer devices. But researchers, led by Christopher Reyes and Benjamin Wiley have developed a new method to 3D print lithium-ion batteries in virtually any shape. They report their results in ACS Applied Energy Materials. Most lithium-ion batteries on the market are either rectangular or cylindrical. Theoretically, 3D printing technologies can print an entire device, including the battery and structural and electronic components, in almost any shape. However, the problem that has stood in the way of fully 3D printed lithium-ion batteries is that the the polymers used for 3D printing, such as poly(lactic acid) (PLA), are not ionic conductors. Researchers wanted to find a way to print complete lithium-ion batteries using low cost and […]

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