The research team of Hong Kong Polytechnic University Institute of Textiles and Clothing (ITC) has created a new lightweight Textile Lithium Battery with a high energy density of more than 450 Wh/lt, and excellent flexibility with a bending radius of less than 1 mm, and foldability of over 1,000 cycles with marginal capacity degradation.

The Textile Lithium Battery, of less than 0.5 mm thick, also possesses fast charging/discharging capability, and long cycle life compared with conventional lithium batteries.

A solution for the future

Professor Zheng Zijian [in the picture], who leads the ITC research team, said: «Wearable technology has been named as the next global big market opportunity after smartphones. Global market revenues for wearable devices are forecast to grow by leaps and bounds, of over 20% annually, to reach US$100 billion by 2024. As all wearable electronics will require wearable energy supply, our novel technology in fabricating Textile Lithium Battery offers a promising solution to a wide array of next-generation applications, ranging from healthcare, infotainment, sports, aerospace, fashion, Internet of Things to any sensing or tracking uses that may even exceed our imagination of today».

The Polymer-Assisted Metal Deposition technology

Applying PolyU’s patented novel technology of Polymer-Assisted Metal Deposition (PAMD), highly conductive metal, copper (Cu) and nickel (Ni) are uniformly and conformally deposited onto pre-treated fabrics. Such fabricated metallic fabrics, featuring low sheet resistance and large surface area, serve as current collectors in the battery.

After adding active materials to act as cathode and anode, the metallic fabrics – together with separator and electrolyte – are assembled into the Textile Lithium Battery.

Laboratory tests conducted by the ITC team have proven the extremely high mechanical stability, durability and safety of the Textile Lithium Battery under deformation.

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