Chinese scientists have used carbon nanotubes to develop a thin, flexible lithium-ion battery that can heal itself after breaking, according to reports by Angewandte Chemie.
The battery has self-healing abilities, which even after completely breaking apart, can grow back together without significant impact on its electrochemical properties.
Existing lithium-ion batteries for wearable electronics can be broken by accident when the users wearing them. But the new lithium compounds cannot leak out of the electrodes, either while in use or after a break.
The electrodes in these batteries consist of layers of parallel carbon nanotubes. Between the layers, the necessary lithium compounds are embedded in nanoparticle form. LiMn2O4 for one electrode, LiTi2(PO4)3 for the other.
After a break, all you need to do is to press the broken ends together for a few seconds for them to ‘grow’ back together.
The capacity and charging and discharging properties of a battery were maintained, even after repeated breaking and self-healing cycles in the previous experiment.