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Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Stanford transparent batteries: seeing straight through to the future?

Stanford University
July 25, 2011

It sounds like something out of a cheesy science fiction movie, but thanks to new research by several Stanford scientists, transparent cell phones are one step closer to becoming a reality.

Several companies have successfully created partially transparent gadgets such as digital photo frames and cell phones with see-through keyboards. However, fully transparent e-book readers or cell phones have remained largely in the realm of conceptual art due to one last missing puzzle piece.

"If you want to make everything transparent, what about the battery?" said Yi Cui, an associate professor of materials science and engineering and of photon science at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, renowned for his work with batteries.

With graduate student Yuan Yang, who is the first author of the paper "Transparent lithium-ion batteries" in the July 25 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Cui set out to create a clear battery suitable for use in consumer electronics.

"I can make the battery more powerful, but I also want to make the battery look fancier," said Cui, who praised Yang for coming up with this unusual research idea.
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