Batteries printed onto paper-thin plastic substrates with inexpensive silk-screen techniques will enable smart credit cards to house batteries by the end of this year. Look for commercialization of printable batteries as early as next year (2010). R.C. J.
As researchers rush to commercialize printable batteries that pattern organic semiconductors onto paper-thin, flexible substrates, a German team claims to be on-track for a 2010 product launch. Scientists at the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Electronic Nano Systems together with colleagues from Chemnitz University of Technology and Menippos GmbH (all based in Chemnitz, Germany) collaborated on product development. They are targeting applications such as smart credit cards with battery-powered displays to show balances and other account information. Fraunhofer's batteries use zinc anodes and manganese cathodes, which react with one another to produce electricity. The materials slowly dissipate over the lifetime of the battery, making them suitable for short-term applications like greeting cards with built-in music players, The researchers are aiming at a price point under 10 cents per card.