NEC is making a bid to change the look and function of batteries. They call their new creation ORB, short for Organically Radical Battery. To call it ultra-thin and quick-charging is a ridiculous understatement. The battery looks like a piece of paper. It is just 0.3 mm thick, made of a type of plastic called organic radical polymer and assumes an electrolyte-permeated gel state, which is apparently an intermediate material state between solid and liquid. That makes the battery very flexible and pliant.
Charging time is almost incomprehensibly fast – just 30 seconds. This is made possible because of the very fast electrode reactions and the gel state polymer, which allows supporting salts to migrate easily. It provides a high energy density – about 1 mWh per cm squared. In an RFID device, for example, that would power tens of thousands of signal transmissions on a charge.
Environmentalists are going to like this innovation, too. The batteries contain none of the heavy metals which make regular batteries such a challenge to dispose of.
NEC will be investing heavily in R&D to develop a range of market ready batteries of this kind. Uses such as smart cards and intelligent paper lend themselves to use with this product. Finally a drastic improvement in battery technology!