Researchers have achieved making different electronic components transparent. However, batteries were not one of them. So far, the bulk of research dedicated to battery technology is to make them store more energy and to keep it stored longer.
But Yi Cui, a materials science professor at Stanford University, led researchers in creating a fully transparent battery. “If you can’t make the battery transparent, you can’t make the gadget transparent,” says Cui. This development is another step closer in creating fully-transparent devices. It could lead to design of portable gadgets.
Although some parts of the battery are relatively easy to create using transparent materials, the electrodes particularly are not. They had to create a mesh with a pattern that’s smaller than the naked eye. To hold the mesh together, a clear polymer called PDMS was used.
Currently, this method of fabrication can create a battery that can hold half a charge of a non-transparent battery of the same size.
Cui is working to improve on this with further research.