Students at Rice University have invented a spray-on lithium-ion battery that could be applied to any surface like Krylon. How does it work? Just spray on each of the different components of a battery in layers. Is it really that easy? Yes, nerds are amazing.
A team lead by Neelam Singh describes its rechargeable battery in Nature, saying it would be ideal for "standalone energy capture-storage hybrid devices". What? In simpler terms, your typical battery is a tightly rolled package of elements that collect, transmit and store energy. The spray-on battery is the same thing, except that the different components are liquified and applied flat to a surface (like metal or ceramic). All you need after that is an energy source, like, juice from a solar panel, and you've suddenly got a way to store power in a space-saving manner.
The team hints at everything from small-scale aerosol can-like applications to large industrial spray guns. Can we have both please? Forget political messages -- that's how you make some high-powered graffiti. [Nature via CNET]