ACS nano

A Foldable Lithium-Sulfur Battery.

PMID 26412399


The next generation of deformable and shape-conformable electronics devices will need to be powered by batteries that are not only flexible but also foldable. Here we report a foldable lithium-sulfur (Li-S) rechargeable battery, with the highest areal capacity (∼3 mAh cm(-2)) reported to date among all types of foldable energy-storage devices. The key to this result lies in the use of fully foldable and superelastic carbon nanotube current-collector films and impregnation of the active materials (S and Li) into the current-collectors in a checkerboard pattern, enabling the battery to be folded along two mutually orthogonal directions. The carbon nanotube films also serve as the sulfur entrapment layer in the Li-S battery. The foldable battery showed <12% loss in specific capacity over 100 continuous folding and unfolding cycles. Such shape-conformable Li-S batteries with significantly greater energy density than traditional lithium-ion batteries could power the flexible and foldable devices of the future including laptops, cell phones, tablet computers, surgical tools, and implantable biomedical devices.