Lithium-ion battery from Columbia University has rigid segments with flexible interconnections that give the battery good flexibility and high energy density.


  • Stable
  • Scalable
  • Flexible


  • Soft Robotics
  • Electronics

UN Sustainable Development Goals Addressed

  • Goal 9: Industry Innovation & Infrastructure

  • Goal 12: Responsible Production & Consumption

The Challenge

Wearable and portable electronics require small, stable batteries to function properly. To achieve longer-lasting charges on devices, batteries must be larger, which also makes them heavier. Developing high performance, high energy density, and flexible batteries would improve small, portable electronics.

Innovation Details

The lithium-ion batteries are made of an energy-storing rigid segment, which coils around the flexible part that connects the vertebra-like stacks of electrodes. The volume of the electrodes, which is the active material in the structure, is larger than the volume of the flexible interconnection, creating a battery with a high energy density. Due to the resilience in the connections between the components within the structure, the batteries have a stable voltage no matter how they are flexed or twisted.

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Biomimicry Story

Human spines are highly flexible and can distort while remaining mechanically robust. Spinal disks have a solid, multi-layered casing of cartilage fiber and a gel-like core. This structure helps keep the spine flexible for rotational movement and bending forwards and backwards.