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Transparent Lithium-Ion Battery Created

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the hard-to-see dept.

Power 91

Med-trump writes "Stanford researchers say they have developed a transparent battery. Transparent futuristic gadgets have been a topic of science fiction and dream of engineers. The paper "Transparent lithium-ion batteries" was published in the July 25 edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. They used a grid-structured electrode, which is fabricated by a microfluidics-assisted method, such that the feature dimension in the electrode is below the resolution limit of human eyes, and, thus, the electrode appears transparent."

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iWindow (2)

wsxyz (543068) | more than 3 years ago | (#36900804)

This will be excellent for powering the iWindow.

Re:iWindow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36900866)

You laugh but think about how much thinner an iPad or Mac Book Air could be if the screen doubled as the battery.

Though on the other had it would be like a small bomb if you broke the screen then.

Re:iWindow (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36901016)

Can you make these a more expensive add-on to the automobile touch-screen windows, mentioned here today?

Re:iWindow (3, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36901084)

Though on the other had it would be like a small bomb if you broke the screen then.

Much more effective the the average burglar alarm glass breakage detector.

I wonder if you could store enough energy to make bullet-proof glass that is actually reactive armor instead of just soaking up the force?

Re:iWindow (1)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | more than 3 years ago | (#36901092)

One more reason it won't make sense to let iDevice users replace the battery when the it dies. Steve says, "The iPhone 6's Crystal energy source is sandwitched between the aluminosilicate glass and the Retina liquid crystal display. Now worship me with your dollars."

Re:iWindow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36901282)

Steve-obsessed poster is Steve-obsessed

Re:iWindow (1)

lessthan (977374) | more than 3 years ago | (#36901662)

Now c'mon, that is right out of freaking Star Trek. Anyone who can say that truthfully deserves a little worship. Plus, the first Wikipedia reference I could find says that lithium-ion batteries lose 20% capacity per year. Who keeps a PC for more than 5 years? Much less a cell phone or tablet. (No, I'm not thinking 5x20=100, so don't go there. 5 years is just the average time I keep a PC)

Re:iWindow (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#36902644)

It's becoming more common to keep PCs longer now that they' have started bumping against CPU speed limits and people are realizing that email won't download any faster with a 20 jiggahurts processor.

Unless the battery can go 5 years and still have a worthwhile capacity (more than 50% at least), being able to replace it matters.

Re:iWindow (1)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 3 years ago | (#36903042)

As tech gets smaller that is what is going to happen. Small items get sandwiched together so tightly that it becomes difficult to separate them without the use a a good lab.

There again this trend is encouraged by certain manufacturers to create planned obsolescence.

Wanna keep free? Learn how to make stuff and give them some competition.

Re:iWindow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36901604)

Transparent lithium might not break in the same way as other transparent screens.

Re:iWindow (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 3 years ago | (#36901690)

You laugh but think about how much thinner an iPad or Mac Book Air could be if the screen doubled as the battery.

Though on the other had it would be like a small bomb if you broke the screen then.

So... more of the same, then? http://www.google.com/search?q=iphone+explode&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=pDs&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=ivns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=QIcwTrmJCMrx0gG7jrWGAw&ved=0CBgQsAQ&biw=1109&bih=604 [google.com]

Re:iWindow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36902934)

You link only shows one picture of an iPhone that started on fire.

That means you have a 0.00000077541% change of you iPhone catching on fire.

Re:iWindow (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36900950)

Lawsuit in 3...2...1...

That's what she said (1)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 3 years ago | (#36900816)

the feature dimension ...is below the resolution limit of human eyes, and, thus... appears transparent."

Disappointing (1, Funny)

Ossifer (703813) | more than 3 years ago | (#36900820)

So no transparent aluminum then?

Re:Disappointing (2)

N!k0N (883435) | more than 3 years ago | (#36900856)

They just call it synthetic sapphire...

Re:Disappointing (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36901154)

They just call it synthetic sapphire...

Interesting you mention that, I'm thinking we've finally found a mass producible window material that is more expensive than synthetic sapphire.

(If you allow non-mass producible then you get people trying to use gem quality diamonds)

Re:Disappointing (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#36901644)

Synthetic sapphire isn't that expensive. Go into any grocery store, they'll have 20 checkout lanes with huge panes of it.

Synthetic gem looking sapphire is. Just like synthetic diamond is a dime a dozen, they slap it on anything they can, the gem quality stuff isn't as cheap.

Re:Disappointing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36901576)

We've got that already: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/676317/posts

Re:Disappointing (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 3 years ago | (#36902062)

I dunno, but if this stuff was transparent to infrared, we could call it "TrI-Lithium".

'course that would mean referencing an audaciously awful movie that most people would rather forget. In fact forget I said anything. oh but I'm still hitting "submit".

Now they'll be even harder to find... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36900824)

...In the back of my kitchen drawer.

What's the point? (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 3 years ago | (#36900844)

Do they have transparent copper wires and circuit boards now as well? Because without them, I'm really not seeing the point of having a transparent battery.

Re:What's the point? (3, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#36900890)

Do they have transparent copper wires and circuit boards now as well? Because without them, I'm really not seeing the point of having a transparent battery.

Steve Jobs is obviously behind this. Think it's hard to replace the battery in a iPhone or MacBook now? Wait until you can't see it!

Re:What's the point? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#36901022)

You mean something like this [sidearmdesign.com] ?

Re:What's the point? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#36902182)

Actually, I was just being amusing / snarky. But I like the transparent iPhone. Completely impractical but fun.

Re:What's the point? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#36902216)

I've come to accept the fact that just about anything can be found on the internet if you search long enough. *shrug*

Re:What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36906274)

Have you been living under a rock for the last 10 years? Actually, make that 20.

Re:What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36907032)

Oh, I'm sure he's known it for a long time. Acceptance of the fact is a whole other thing. Sorta like taking the red pill.

Re:What's the point? (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#36900996)

It's still more like semi-transparent batteries. At least from the video/image there's still a hint of shift and blocking as if something is embedded there. (ie: it's not like glass, but sort of a dirty glass.)

Re:What's the point? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36901132)

Here's how to do it right: First, post a snarky and/or ignorant comment, THEN read the article and/or watch accompanying video.

Re:What's the point? (1)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36901300)

If the battery is transparent it should be able to lose heat more efficiently through infra-red radiation. This might in turn enable it to charge/discharge quicker.

Re:What's the point? (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 3 years ago | (#36902158)

Well ok, that's a feature. Are they infrared transparent? Cause I think that's something else.

Re:What's the point? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36901502)

If they'd invented transparent copper wires, you'd just be bitching because they don't have transparent batteries, yet. One thing at a time, chief, and we can make gradual advances in technology.

Re:What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36902750)

Add some coloring agent reacting to the lack of electrons and you got a battery changing color for those extreme conditions and for assisting machine vision systems to pinpoint the right battery to change or charge, or even to measure the remaining charge more accurately in your portable device.

Re:What's the point? (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 3 years ago | (#36909030)

LEDs work quite well enough for those purposes. Better, probably.

Re:What's the point? (1)

kylemonger (686302) | more than 3 years ago | (#36903786)

If the battery is transparent (and durable) you can put it on the outside of the device, saving space inside for things that have to go inside, like memory and CPUs.

Re:What's the point? (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 3 years ago | (#36908976)

. . . Why does it have to be transparent? I mean, I get the durable part. And I guess if it was perfectly transparent, you could put the battery in front of the screen. But why? But look at any device around you. Think about where the battery is. Now it's transparent.... so what?

Think about laptops and phones. You don't want the battery bulging out. You want it recessed, fitting nicely into the device.

Re:What's the point? (1)

kylemonger (686302) | more than 3 years ago | (#36927994)

As you noted, if the battery is transparent, it can cover the screen, which with today's devices is about half the surface area of the device. Also, if the battery is outside the device, instead of inside there can be more of it and the device will still be thin. Put a shell of battery equivalent to 10% of the thickness of the device on the outside and it's as if 33% of the interior space of the device were consumed by the battery. That 33% savings can be used for components that have to be inside.

Re:What's the point? (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 3 years ago | (#36946460)

Or, you know, you could put the screen in front of that, and NOTHING CHANGES. Actually, since it's usually a touchscreen, you lose functionality.

windows? (1)

Twillerror (536681) | more than 3 years ago | (#36900884)

Could you incorporate a transparent battery and transparent solar panel to create a window with some sort of a plugin in it?

I wish we would standardize on a standard DC power cord, but I guess USB is as good as any in this combination. Put you phone on the window seal and charge it up.

Re:windows? (1)

NEDHead (1651195) | more than 3 years ago | (#36901268)

Transparent suggests the light goes through unimpeded. Tough to extract energy in a solar panel if the light just goes through. One can target the wavelengths we don't see, but our eyes generally see the most intense part of the sunlight curve, so effective efficiency would be limited

Re:windows? (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 3 years ago | (#36901830)

Modern windows already block UV light, it's just a question of time before we start harvesting it, and IR.

Re:windows? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36902074)

If a solar panel is transparent how is making power?
Does it only catch UV and IR or what?

Darn it! (1, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#36900902)

Where'd I put that battery?

Re:Darn it! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36901122)

in your transparent dildo

Re:Darn it! (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#36902226)

You're joking, but that might very well be one of the first uses.
The sex industry has driven progress and acceptance of a LOT of technologies.

For Sale (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36900962)

For sale, the first completely transparent _____________. Only $19.99! Notice how light it is? It feels just like there is nothing in your hand. Lets not forget all of the amazing things it can do like ___________, ______________, and ___________. You'll wonder how you ever got along without it. And now for a limited time only... We'll through in a second one free at no additional cost.

Fine print: Not responsible for any problems incurred finding the item in the box...

Re:For Sale (1)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | more than 3 years ago | (#36901146)

Wow, that's pretty good. You must have experience writing biz plans to seduce VCs.

Re:For Sale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36901306)

Wow, that's pretty good. You must have experience writing biz plans to seduce VCs.

But... It's women I want to seduce!!!

I didn't understand this bit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36900964)

>."..such that the feature dimension in the electrode is below the resolution limit of human eyes, and, thus, the electrode appears transparent."

I don't see why that guarantees transparency. Couldn't the electrode just as likely scatter the light and thereby make it opaque or translucent?

Re:I didn't understand this bit... (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#36901064)

Exactly. The molecules in my cup of coffee are all below the resolution limit of my eyes, yet I see coffee. What matters is whether the electrode is smaller than the wavelength of the photons.

Re:I didn't understand this bit... (1)

mikael (484) | more than 3 years ago | (#36902546)

The fun part would be if they were around the wavelength of the photons. Then you would get diffraction grating patterns and rainbows. If they are going to make a transparent PC, it would be really useful if the material could actually change color according to temperature. Then you could see how well the cooling system is working.

Re:I didn't understand this bit... (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 3 years ago | (#36902670)

Thank you for explaining the physics of the coloring of magic unicorns and ponies

Re:I didn't understand this bit... (2)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 3 years ago | (#36901150)

Think of polarizing filters - it's all about the alignment, and this is a grid.

wtf does feature dimensions have to do with it? (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36901034)

I thought something was transparent if photons passed through it.

If the feature dimensions are too small for photons to bounce off of, then that's effectively the same thing as being transparent... but that has diddly-squat to do with the resolution limit of the human eye.

Re:wtf does feature dimensions have to do with it? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36901108)

Can't resolve it, just see a blur or dirtyness. Like a colloidal solution.

Re:wtf does feature dimensions have to do with it? (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36901376)

Okay... but that, again, has nothing to do with it being transparent.

Re:wtf does feature dimensions have to do with it? (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 3 years ago | (#36901672)

When humans communicate we often don't use words in a scientifically correct manner, but in ways that are understood by the people to whom we are communicating.

Re:wtf does feature dimensions have to do with it? (1)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36903126)

The word they should be using is translucent [reference.com] .

Re:wtf does feature dimensions have to do with it? (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 3 years ago | (#36907762)

High-five!

YAou Fail It (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36901078)

Re:YAou Fail It (3, Insightful)

Adriax (746043) | more than 3 years ago | (#36901276)

Interesting capitalization there, anyone else get the feeling these goatse posts are actually communication messages for a secretive organization?

Feature dimension (1)

h1q (2042122) | more than 3 years ago | (#36901142)

The particles of fog are below the feature dimension resolvable by my eye, yet it is not transparent

First thought (2)

owlstead (636356) | more than 3 years ago | (#36901156)

Ah, now we can finally see directly if a battery is full or not.

Re:First thought (1)

Libertarian001 (453712) | more than 3 years ago | (#36901702)

Reminds me of a service call I received a few months back. The call requested me to come out and re-fill the LCD because it was showing about half full. I couldn't believe this, so called to find out what was going on. She said that the liquid crystals had drained out. Thinking they're pulling my leg, I went to the site and, sure enough, the LCD was half full. Someone had cracked the screen, then someone else had spilled a soda over it, which then drained into it and made it look half full. I tried not to laugh as I told them what had happened, but I got a little pissed when they started telling me that that could not possibly have been the cause because no beverages are allowed in the control room of a Cath Lab. Never mind the fact that I could see at least a half dozen water bottles, coffee cups and soda cans and bottles in the immediate area.

Re:First thought (1)

sincewhen (640526) | more than 3 years ago | (#36903368)

That kind-of happened to me. My car has an auto-dimming rear view mirror, which is implemented by a light sensor and LCD overlay on the mirror. After a particularly hot day I noticed there was some greasy liquid on the console. Turned out the liquid had leaked out. Now it is half full and doesn't work any more.

I just don't see it. (1)

BetaDays (2355424) | more than 3 years ago | (#36901254)

I just don't see it.

Order one now (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36901310)

Order our new transparent laptop now! Additional options include non-transparent back mounting ($99) so you can see wtf you are doing!

I'd rather .... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36901330)

I'd much rather see a battery that lasts 10times longer, or that can be charged 10times faster, or that can release energy at a rate 10times faster, than have engineers spend time on creating a transparent battery.

Am I alone in that?

Re:I'd rather .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36901700)

Or one that weighs 10 times less.

Re:I'd rather .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36902244)

No, not at all. Pretty much safe bet most would prefer that.

Re:I'd rather .... (2)

Spigot the Bear (2318678) | more than 3 years ago | (#36902270)

I'm pretty sure different groups of researchers can work on all of those problems simultaneously.

Re:I'd rather .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36902286)

I to would prefer a longer battery life

I do not believe these Stanford researchers share their priorities with the rest of the battery powered device using world

Re:I'd rather .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36902400)

Yeah, why bother to research other areas of science! What possible good could come from that...

Re:I'd rather .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36902734)

Yeah, but then Cheveron and/or possibly GM would buy them out again and just mothball the technology. They have already proven they aren't above that sort of thing.

Re:I'd rather .... (3, Insightful)

Phics (934282) | more than 3 years ago | (#36903938)

You're probably not alone. On the other hand, (and forgive me for jumping to conclusions), it sounds like you're thinking about devices such as tablets or cell phones. Those aren't the only applications for battery technology.

That's the great thing about discovery... Just because someone came up with a new technology, doesn't mean future applications are readily apparent. Someone out there is going to think, "Hey! This sucks for laptops, but you know what this would be great for?!...." and the next thing you know you have contact lenses with a HUD.

Battery Life? (2)

Tator Tot (1324235) | more than 3 years ago | (#36901434)

But... I won't be able to "see how much battery I gots left" on my new phone. :(

Transparency is cool, until... (2)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 3 years ago | (#36901452)

...you want some privacy, or "accidentally" enter a porn site while on the train...

So... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36901560)

We can mix the transparent battery with some transparent aluminum to make an invisible laptop? Cool! Wait...

Re:So... (1)

JoeDuncan (874519) | more than 3 years ago | (#36902020)

The emperor's new laptop? I'll sell you one right now!

Transparent? (2)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 3 years ago | (#36901612)

I'll believe it when I see it.

Was this developed by Africans? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36901778)

I thought not.

But the insane Slashdotters keep repeating the mantra "We are all the same", even though they know it isn't true, and that very soon, their lives will be ruined by this insanity...

What is the point? (2)

kiwix (1810960) | more than 3 years ago | (#36902188)

What is the point of making stuff transparent? I can think of two important differences between a regular phone and an hypothetic transparent phone: you can more easily lose the transparent one, and the screen will be much harder to read. Am I missing something?

Re:What is the point? (1)

srodden (949473) | more than 3 years ago | (#36902924)

Don't you know? Transparent is the new white...

I looked at the transparent gadgets link and I hope folks will forgive me for being totally underwhelmed by a bunch of pics of artists impressions of how some gadgets might look IF we develop the technology to build them.

Show me some working prototypes and I'll spend the energy to be impressed. In the mean time, I agree with kiwix who is worried about losing his transparent phone and with AC that suggests efforts would be better spent on trying to make a battery last longer than be transparent. Creative types trying to justify their existence again?

Re:What is the point? (1)

Kashgarinn (1036758) | more than 3 years ago | (#36906140)

At a basic level, a transparent battery frees up any design limitation regarding placement of battery becuse of opaqueness. It's one less thing to worry about regarding translucent design.

That freedom can possibly mean more efficient use of space, or to design a battery right into something translucent, to give an example. It's freedom, don't knock freedom.

Re:What is the point? (1)

minstrelmike (1602771) | more than 3 years ago | (#36910802)

Am I missing something?

Yes, you are missing something. But that's because the something is transparent.

So how many (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 3 years ago | (#36902314)

Whales will it hold?

Find hotels in Singapore (0)

asiahotelbiz (2367128) | more than 3 years ago | (#36903792)

Asiahotelbiz.com : You are about to work a few days, traveling with family, ... need to rent a hotel room without knowing: - Quality and price is reasonable? - Evening nowhere to play? There is no dining room? - Any good hotel, standard, beautiful room? - The location in the center? suburban? convenient transport or not? Call (84-4) 33722 8093 – Asiahotelbiz.com, you will: - Consulting enthusiastic, free hotels in locations consistent with the purpose and need: http://www.asiahotelbiz.com/ [asiahotelbiz.com] Contact: No. 75 Lane 55 Hoang Hoa Tham, Hanoi.

R&D Gimmickry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36904086)

Yes, if you make a grid that is fine enough, your eyes can't resolve the individual lines, and so the naked eye sees what appears to be a neutral density filter or a polarizer. Whoop. What percentage of light in the visible spectrum does it pass? And with an increase in transparency, what do you lose in battery capacity, weight, etc? The rest is flim flam, but that's what a lot of R&D really is these days.

Does it stop my MBP from expanding after 2 years? (1)

tomxor (2379126) | more than 3 years ago | (#36909248)

Really you'd think Apple were selling inflatable notebooks. Are there any advantages from this new method other than a seemingly useless translucency?... a battery that doesn't explode or expand would be really nice.
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