A high areal capacity flexible lithium-ion battery with a strain-compliant design

Abhinav M. Gaikwad, Brian V. Khau, Greg Davies, Benjamin Hertzberg, Daniel Artemus Steingart, Ana Claudia Arias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

170 Scopus citations


Early demonstrations of wearable devices have driven interest in flexible lithium-ion batteries. Previous demonstrations of flexible lithium-ion batteries trade off between low areal capacity, poor mechanical flexibility and/or high thickness of inactive components. Here, a reinforced electrode design is used to support the active layers of the battery and a freestanding carbon nanotube (CNT) layer is used as the current collector. The supported architecture helps to increase the areal capacity (mAh cm-2) of the battery and improve the tensile strength and mechanical flexibility of the electrodes. Batteries based on lithium cobalt oxide and lithium titanate oxide shows excellent electrochemical and mechanical performance. The battery has an areal capacity of ≈1 mAh cm-2 and a capacity retention of around 94% after cycling the battery for 450 cycles at a C/2 rate. The reinforced electrode has a tensile strength of ≈5.5-7.0 MPa and shows excellent capacity retention after repeatedly flexing to a bending radius ranging from 45 to 10 mm. The relationships between mechanical flexing, electrochemical performance, and mechanical integrity of the battery are studied using electrochemical cycling, electron microscopy, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). Flexible lithium-ion batteries with a high areal capacity of ≈1 mAh cm-2 and an open-circuit potential of 2.6 V are demonstrated. Due to the reinforced electrode design, the batteries are able to maintain their capacity, even after repeated flexing up to a bend radius of 10 mm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1401389
JournalAdvanced Energy Materials
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Materials Science


  • flexible batteries
  • flexible electronics
  • lithium-ion batteries
  • reinforced electrodes


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