09 July 2012 Breakthrough battery technology could lead to self powered devices Breakthrough battery technology could lead to self powered devices Researchers at Imperial College London have developed a structural material that can store electrical energy and act like a battery within electrical devices. The team is collaborating with Volvo to develop the material further as car bodywork and a device to store and discharge energy, which could lead to cars that are lighter and more energy efficient. The material was created by weaving carbon fibres together into a cloth, putting a layer of glass in between to separate the electrodes, then infusing a resin. Although targeted at automotive applications, the potential future for the technology could include new types of casing for smartphones and tablets which replace the batteries and allow for much thinner designs. "The challenge throughout this project has been to make a material that simultaneously stores electrical energy and gives good mechanical properties. We've now made a very big breakthrough – we've developed a very new material which has both those things at the same time," commented Dr Emile Greenhalgh, from the department of aeronautics at Imperial. Author Simon Fogg Comment on this article Websites http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/ Companies Imperial College London This material is protected by MA Business copyright See Terms and Conditions. One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not. For multiple copies contact the sales team. What you think about this article: Add your comments Name Email Comments Your comments/feedback may be edited prior to publishing. Not all entries will be published. Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.