Researchers Create Transparent Lithium-Ion Battery | Summary and Q&A

July 18, 2011
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Researchers Create Transparent Lithium-Ion Battery

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In this video, Stanford University demonstrates how they have developed transparent batteries that can power devices such as LEDs. By using a common polymer called PDMS, they are able to make the whole battery transparent, which could lead to the development of transparent devices like cell phones.

Questions & Answers

Q: How can batteries be made transparent?

To make batteries transparent, instead of completely blocking the empty space between the electrodes, they are assembled in a way that allows them to overlap. This overlapping design, along with the use of a transparent polymer called PDMS, enables the battery to be transparent.

Q: What type of battery is used in this demonstration?

The batteries used in this demonstration are similar to existing lithium-ion batteries in terms of the power they can produce. However, the key difference is their transparency, achieved through the innovative design and use of PDMS as a substitute material.

Q: What devices can be powered by these transparent batteries?

These transparent batteries have the capability to power various devices, including LEDs as demonstrated in the video. With further development, it is possible that they could power other types of devices as well.

Q: Are there any limitations or challenges associated with transparent batteries?

While transparent batteries offer exciting possibilities, there are challenges to overcome. The current design focuses on making the battery itself transparent, but creating a fully transparent device will require advancements in other components, such as the wiring and circuitry, in order to achieve complete transparency.

Q: How do transparent batteries compare to traditional batteries in terms of performance?

Transparent batteries, in terms of power output, are similar to traditional lithium-ion batteries. The primary difference lies in their transparency, which opens up new opportunities for integrating batteries into designs that require transparent components.

Q: Can transparent batteries be used to power cell phones?

The speaker in the video mentions that if asked, many people would express interest in having transparent cell phones. While it is currently not possible to power entire cell phones with transparent batteries, the development of transparent batteries is a step towards making transparent devices like cell phones a reality in the future.

Q: What material is used to make the batteries transparent?

The transparent batteries in this demonstration are made using a polymer called PDMS. PDMS is commonly used in various applications and has the unique property of being transparent, making it suitable for creating transparent batteries.

Q: Does making the battery transparent affect its performance?

Making the battery transparent does not significantly impact its performance in terms of power output. The focus of the design is to achieve transparency while maintaining the battery's ability to generate power similar to existing lithium-ion batteries.

Q: Can transparent batteries be scaled up to larger devices?

The demonstration in the video showcases the feasibility of transparent batteries in small-scale devices, such as powering an LED. While not explicitly mentioned, it is reasonable to assume that with further development, transparent batteries can potentially be scaled up to power larger devices.

Q: What are the potential applications of transparent batteries?

Transparent batteries have the potential to revolutionize the design of various devices, such as smartphones, tablets, wearable technology, and even architectural components like windows and displays. Their transparency opens up new opportunities for seamlessly integrating power sources into a wide range of products.


The development of transparent batteries at Stanford University demonstrates the exciting potential for transparent devices in the future. By making batteries transparent, new design possibilities emerge that can seamlessly integrate power sources into various products. Although there are challenges to overcome, the concept of transparent batteries opens up a world of possibilities for creating innovative and aesthetically pleasing devices.

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