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Industrial Large-Scale Manufacturing of Flexible Micro Batteries using Novel Roll-to-Roll Printing Methods

Northeastern researchers have created a method to manufacture and configure flexible micro batteries on a large-scale using printing methods

Published: 11th August 2022
Industrial Large-Scale Manufacturing of Flexible Micro Batteries using Novel Roll-to-Roll Printing Methods


There has been an increase in demand within the battery industry, for flexible micro-batteries. However, the large-scale manufacturing of flexible micro-batteries faces significant challenges including the scalability of manufacturing, high costs, and a lack of customized architecture. Environmental impact is also a major consideration for the battery industry.

Technology Overview

Northeastern researchers have invented a unique battery manufacturing process and configuration where the cathode and anode electrode are printed to each side of a paper substrate individually. The paper takes on the functions of both the printing substrate and separator in the battery. Roll to roll printing processes, including flexographic printing, offset printing, gravure printing, and screen printing are applied here. This printing method can also print complex patterns on flexible paper substrates with high resolution (as low as 20 -30 um). In the design created by the researchers, the cathode and anode are printed on both sides of the paper substrate via roll-to-roll printing. After printing and drying, current collectors are printed above the cathode and anode electrodes. This approach to industrial large-scale flexible micro batteries manufacturing by printing electrodes and current collectors on both sides of the paper substrate is the first of its kind. It is also the first method to produce flexographic printing Lithium-ion battery inks with a self-developed surfactant, and to fabricate flexible Lithium-ion batteries with complex patterns by flexographic printing and printing on paper.


  • This design combines two mature industrial production techniques, battery manufacturing, and traditional flexographic printing, to fulfill large-scale micro batteries manufacturing.
  • This design eliminates the electrolyte printing process, which removes a step of battery printing and makes the manufacturing process more scalable.
  • In comparison to metal foils as substrates, paper substrates are more flexible and foldable for flexible printed micro batteries, and cheaper and environmentally friendly in large-scale industrial manufacturing.
  • The paper substrate not only takes on the function of the printing substrate but also as the separator in the device.


  • Flexible micro batteries manufacturing
  • Fabricating of electronic skin and electronic devices.
  • Printing of smart drug deliverable medicine, sandwich structure devices and low cost sustainable one time use paper batteries.


Seeking licensee and/or industry partner.

IP Status
  • Provisional patent
  • Development partner
  • Commercial partner
  • Licensing