Strategic Elements has been granted a patent for its Nanocube Memory Ink technology in Japan.
Camera IconStrategic Elements has been granted a patent for its Nanocube Memory Ink technology in Japan. Credit: File

Strategic Elements development of its battery ink technology has taken a vital step forward after the company was granted a patent for its “nanocube memory ink” technology in Japan. The company’s battery ink technology can be used to produce self-charging battery cells and it says the patent will be held through its wholly owned venture, Australian Advanced Materials.

The battery ink technology venture is a collaboration with the University of New South Wales and Strategic Elements looks to be in good company, with the institution boasting over a decade of experience in electronic inks, energy harvesting and storage.

The company is currently pursuing a number of sectors in the technology industry and is developing bleeding-edge printable computer memory and self-charging battery technologies as part of its renewable energy technology and storage arms.

Strategic Elements latest conquest will allow it to carve itself a slice of the printed, flexible and organic electronics sector that is earmarked to shoot from about $31.7 billion to $77.3 billion over the next half a dozen years or so according to the company.

Despite its relative obscurity to the layman, the printed electronics sector is touted to play a significant role in the transformation of the electronics industry in the coming years. The technology allows electronic circuitry to be printed on a suite of alternative surfaces such as plastic and glass as opposed to rigid silicon. The process borrows from traditional printing procedures and integrates advanced functional inks to print on malleable surfaces.

The key advantage of printed technology over traditional methods is that the process allows for the manufacture of flexible, lightweight and thin electronic products for applications that are not possible with conventional silicon-based electronics.

Strategic Elements is looking to utilise its battery ink technology to produce small-footprint battery cells that can be printed on plastic. Remarkably, the battery cells can be powered solely by moisture from humidity in the air.

The recent patent follows a busy period for Strategic that only a few months ago developed a 6cm by 6cm prototype battery ink cell that produced over a milliamp of electrical current from humidity. According to Strategic Elements, the milestone could extend the range of devices that can be powered by its moisture-based battery technology.

It says health-related electronic “skin patches” could potentially be powered by Strategic’s moisture re-charging technology and will likely be the first real test of the concept and its practical applications.

The company says health related skin patches as an industry sector will be worth some US$40b by 2030 – any part of that action will likely quicken a few pulses for Strategic Elements followers.

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