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Korean scientists develop flexible LIB energy source

You can't have flexible tablets without a similarly flexible battery to power it, can you?

A team of scientists at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), led by Professor Keon Jae Lee of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, has developed that flexible energy source.

Lee's team built a high-performance, malleable, all-solid lithium-ion battery (LIB) that they say can still provide power no matter how much of a beating it takes. Printed on a thin film, the rechargeable battery is considered a candidate for high-performance flexible energy, according to KAIST.

"The advent of a high performance flexible thin film battery will accelerate the development of next-generation fully flexible electronic systems in combination with existing flexible components such as display, memory, and LED," Lee said in a statement.

Don't start ditching your rigid smartphones just yet, though.

KAIST said in a statement that the performance of LIBs like Lees' is not yet sufficient, making it difficult to apply the battery to flexible consumer projects right now.

The research team is currently looking into a laser lift-off technology to allow for mass production of flexible LIBs and 3D stacking structures to enhance the charging power of the batteries.

Corning stepped up to the plate in June when it unveiled an ultra-thin, flexible glass that could revolutionise the shape and form of electronics. Meanwhile, Apple recently applied for a patent to create a pliable iPad Smart Cover, which could possibly double as a second screen attached to the tablet.

To see the battery in action, watch the KAIST video (top).