Thin Film Batteries


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Batteries have long been considered an essential contribution to the advancement of modern technology. Over the years, there has been a wide range of different battery chemistries and configurations, ranging from the simple electrochemical cell of Volta with Cu and Zn electrodes separated by a brine solution to the modern thin-film battery with complex lithium lanthanum zinc oxide circuitry. However, the most advanced battery platform is a lithium ionic lithium battery.

Advantages and challenges

The benefits of a thin-film battery are reduced weight and increased energy density.

However, technology comes with challenges. For example, there have been issues regarding water permeation and an inability to match the cycle life of traditional batteries. One solution has been the creation of a solid polymer electrolyte rather than a liquid one which reduces any issue caused by water vapour or humidity and provides a more flexible design for electrodes. Using a solid polymer electrolyte also improves ionic conductivity over liquid electrolytes. Another potential issue is the high cost, currently at $1500 - $2000 per kWh. This is due to the complex lithography and vacuum chemical vapor deposition process used and minimal market demand that does not provide the economies of scale of more traditional battery chemistries.

Do you need a battery?

Lithium-ion batteries are the most advanced battery platform on the market today. As a result, they have a wide range of applications, from consumer electronics to electric vehicles.

Geolance offers the best lithium ionic batteries on the market. We have a variety of chemistries and configurations to choose from, so you can find the perfect battery for your needs.


A wide range of applications can benefit from thin-film batteries, including medical devices, wearable technology, and even implantable wireless sensors. One example is pacemakers, which can benefit from low-profile batteries implanted within the body for extended periods without rusting or breaking down over time like metal counterparts. Another example would be wristbands or smartwatches. Combining flexible equipment with more durable power sources makes it possible to make wearables something beyond the usual aesthetic appeal seen today. A final example would be implantable biosensors for monitoring purposes.

Thin-film battery construction

The thin-film battery has four main components: substrate, FTO (Fluorine Tin Oxide) electrode, cathode, and PEN (Polyethylene naphthalate).

The active electrode materials in a battery include the cathode made from lithium lanthanum titanium oxide or spinel and an electrolyte solution of either EC/DMC/DEC or PC/EC. The cathode material is combined with carbon black nanoparticles that increase conductivity and reduce power loss at elevated temperatures.

The primary adhesive in a battery is polyethylene. It is most effective when used as a primer where it provides high adhesion and good electrical insulation for the cathode and anode layers. Despite being a solid, it can be used as a liquid if high-volume manufacturing volume presses are employed to ensure proper distribution throughout the entirety of the cell. The final component of this thin-film battery technology is FTO which acts as a transparent electrode allowing for visible light communication through an OLED strip or similar device while also acting as functional electrodes in the overall circuit.


Thin-film batteries are advantageous over traditional batteries due to reduced weight and increased energy density. However, this technology still has challenges due to cost, water permeation issues, and issues with cycle life which must be addressed through improved production techniques or alternative materials. The main application for these batteries is likely medical renewable energy storage devices such as pacemakers. The thin-film battery can provide an extended lifespan without rusting or breaking down like its metal counterparts and be flexible enough to allow for implantation inside the body. Other possible applications include wearable tech and biosensors with low power consumption but require a long operational lifespan compared to other consumer electronic devices.

What are Thin Film Batteries?

Thin-film batteries, also known as printed batteries and RFID tags, are a type of battery that is produced in a thin layer. They can be used with many products such as watches, cell phones, and personalized home medical appliances.

The Uses for Thin Film Batteries

There are multiple uses for these types of batteries. For example, they can power medical devices such as implants and stents inside the body. In addition, alternative energy meters use them to give electricity readings in homes and businesses. The technology can also be used to power intelligent cards that store personal information about their carriers; they've been used by the U.S. Department of Defense and NASA since they're employed on space shuttles and aircraft where weight and size matter.

How they work

The makeup of a thin-film battery is long and narrow, with electrodes placed on either side. A separator layer may exist between the two to ensure no contact between the anode and cathode, making it impossible for electrical current to flow through them. The actual working components are located within the top and bottom layers. These contain lithium phosphorus oxynitride or spinel that store power when exposed to chemical changes in salt solutions or organic solvent solid electrolytes and convert it into electricity upon discharge through external terminals.  

Alternative Energy Thin Film Batteries:    Flexible    High Conductivity    Long Life Cycle    Low Weight     Sustainable         -    Flexible         -    High Conductivity         -    Long Life Cycle

Flexibility is a critical component in many applications for thin-film batteries. This can be found in flexible medical implants, smart cards, and wearable technology, where the battery must be bendable without fracturing or breaking apart. Thin films can create high conductivity within their electrodes, allowing them to perform well under high demand rates. This means that there's minimal higher average output voltage loss during operation. They also experience lower degradation levels over time than designs with metal electrodes; this makes them environmentally friendly. They won't rust like traditional batteries would when exposed to acidic compounds. This enhances the device's lifespan for which they're used, making them more sustainable.

Thin-film batteries can also produce low weights, which are beneficial for applications that require the battery to be small and lightweight. This is especially important in wearable technology, where size impacts how comfortable or conspicuous it looks when being worn.  

Challenges of Thin Film Batteries

A problem associated with thin-film batteries is their tendency to have high contact resistance, often resulting in voltage drop during operation. Another issue is insufficient shelf life due to high leakage currents found within the cathode layers of these batteries, which contributes to premature cell degradation. This poses a problem when using these batteries in implantable devices since there may be insufficient power flowing through the cells when needed most; this is due to the leakage of electrolytes from within the battery.  


The growth of thin-film batteries is expected as these designs are helpful in many applications. This technology has existed for over twenty years; however, it's currently experiencing an upswing because its flexibility allows for devices to be fabricated that adhere well to different surfaces where traditional batteries may not fit or function efficiently. In addition, researchers are looking into unique materials and component geometries that can help solve some current issues with this design, such as low shelf life and high contact resistance. Thinner electrodes will also enhance their electrical properties while increasing capacity by decreasing cell thicknesses within the overall structure, increasing the amount of power stored within each device or battery. As a result, we may see a change in how power is supplied to devices requiring higher energy consumption rates. In addition, thin-film batteries could provide lower-cost alternatives when incorporated into disposable or rechargeable designs for handheld gadgets such as mobile phones and tablets.

Advantages of Thin Film Batteries

The use of a solid electrolyte instead of a liquid one allows the battery to be more stable and resistant to leakage.

Other batteries require a thicker cathode layer to provide sufficient storage capacity due to the limited movement of lithium ions within these materials. However, thin-film batteries can maintain high rates of ionic conductivity through their electrodes without needing such thick layers, allowing for an increase in storage capacity relative to their size. This increases the amount of time that devices can function between charges or replacements while also reducing the overall weight or volume of the design to fit better with other systems or objects where it's intended for use.

Scientific Development

The use of personalized, embedded electronics to treat medical conditions like Parkinson's disease is an idea that continues to gain traction. A key component in these devices is the battery that powers them; it needs to be designed with longevity and safety as top priorities. One approach for reducing the size of implantable batteries is through thin-film designs, which allow the cells to be stacked together rather than taking up more space on their own. This can reduce the overall thickness associated with implantable devices. Hence, they fit better within the body without impacting movement or comfort during regular activities performed by those implanted.  

Researchers at Rice University are looking into unique materials for each electrode layer to create a thin film battery that can store more power than other designs currently used for implantable devices. They're also interested in creating a layered structure that can be applied to a flexible backing allowing the cells to bend and twist without breaking during regular use. This will allow these batteries to have an extended shelf life due to improved battery management systems implemented into their designs.

In the future, it's expected that thin-film batteries will become more prominent as research expands on current concepts and applications. Current challenges regarding this technology include fitting larger quantities of energy within smaller spaces, improving ionic conductivity through electrolyte materials, increasing stability under various conditions such as temperature or pressure, and minimizing costs associated with fabrication processes that may affect the performance or quality of components involved in the batteries themselves. In addition, the implementation of new techniques for the creation of electrodes and separators, along with the development of solid-state electrolyte materials, will help improve the overall performance and stability of these devices as research continues.

New Study Reveals Battery Fabrication Process for Electric Car Start-ups

Electric car start-up company Tesla Motors recently announced plans to build a 5 billion dollar, 1 million square foot 'Gigafactory' that will work together with Panasonic Corporation to produce lithium-ion batteries at a much larger scale than those produced by current production plants. The two companies intend on manufacturing enough storage cells to provide power for 500,000 electric vehicles by 2020. These new technologies will be integrated into Tesla's automobile designs, including the Model S and Model X. Most electric cars rely on small nickel-metal hydride batteries and larger lithium-ion units for their power needs. In these traditional designs, the cells are stacked side by side or layered on top of each other to provide enough power to move the vehicle reasonably without draining its storage capacity too quickly.

Tesla Motors' newest Gigafactory will integrate technologies used for solar energy production into its battery design process to help reduce costs associated with manufacturing and recycling processes that can be used to reclaim materials from damaged cells. Traditional car companies like Nissan have been using this method for years since those involved in creating electric cars use raw materials from other industries to create new components, which help lower the cost of production. In addition, Tesla is looking into producing thin-film batteries that can be used for applications such as home energy storage systems.

Some companies like Tesla Motors and their desire to build extensive facilities to produce thin-film batteries demonstrate great confidence in this emerging technology that could provide significant benefits over traditional battery designs. Traditional car manufacturers like Nissan and General Motors have improved lithium-ion cell performance and reliability through increased testing, while alternative car start-ups like Fisker Automotive manufacture vehicles that showcase new technologies such as thin-film cells. The evolution of battery technologies has seen many improvements based on materials science research looking into electrolyte compositions, separator materials, electrode purification techniques, efficient ion conductor electrode formulations, nanostructure development, fabrication methods, and system designs.

Electric vehicle use will likely increase as the demand for alternative energy sources rises to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. As new battery technologies continue to emerge from research laboratories, those involved in this field of study will have a significant role in the evolution of electric cars that could help reduce emissions from power plants and gasoline-powered engines. For companies like Tesla Motors to succeed with their designs, researchers must work with manufacturing experts to develop high-quality components using advanced technologies that can be cost-effective while providing desired performance characteristics.

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