ENGINEERING NEWS

New Stretchable Battery Featured On NBC News, BBC

Flexible battery can stretch up to 300 percent of its original size

A revolutionary stretchable battery, developed by Yonggang Huang, the Joseph Cummings Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, has been featured by several news outlets.

Yonggang Huang

Huang worked in conjunction with John A. Rogers, the Swanlund Chair at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, to create the flexible battery. Through their research, the two connected a series of wavy, tightly packed wires to the individual components of a small battery, which provided the malleability to change shape and stretch up to three times its normal size.

“When we stretch the battery, the wavy interconnects unravels, much like yarn unspooling, while the storage components almost keep undeformed, because of their much larger rigidity than the interconnects,” Huang explained.

The battery’s charge lasts up to nine hours and can be recharged wirelessly. For now, it is the final piece of the researchers’ line of stretchable electronics, and in the future could be used to power medical devices.

Huang’s findings were published in the online journal Nature Communications. It has since been profiled by NBC News, BBC, Smithsonian Magazine, Live Science, and the IBT Times.