Q: Paper or Plastic for Carbon Nanotubes? A: Paper

It is appealing when an engineering solution takes a step back, technologically speaking. Or so how it might be described as researchers at Stanford University have developed a way to make batteries and supercapacitors by spreading a liquid concoction of carbon nanotubes and silver nanowires onto simple paper rather than plastic.

Stanford researcher Yi Cui’s work entitled "Highly Conductive Paper for Energy Storage Devices" has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week.

While the simplicity of making these batteries is evidenced in the video below, we may be a long way from seeing machines such as implantable medical devices employing the technology as some publications have suggested when we have carbon nanotubes and silver nanoparticles under scrutiny for their toxicological issues.

Nonetheless it is fun to watch how something so simple can be used for storing and discharging energy.




IEEE Spectrum’s nanotechnology blog, featuring news and analysis about the development, applications, and future of science and technology at the nanoscale.

Dexter Johnson
Madrid, Spain