Origami is not noted for its stretchy qualities, a shortcoming according to a June 16, 2015 news item on Azonano,
Origami, the centuries-old Japanese paper-folding art, has inspired recent designs for flexible energy-storage technology. But energy-storage device architecture based on origami patterns has so far been able to yield batteries that can change only from simple folded to unfolded positions. They can flex, but not actually stretch.
Now an Arizona State University [ASU] research team has overcome the limitation by using a variation of origami, called kirigami, as a design template for batteries that can be stretched to more than 150 percent of their original size and still maintain full functionality.
A June 15, 2015 ASU news release, which originated the news item, provides a few more details about the kirigami-influenced batteries (Note: A link has been removed),
A paper published on June 11  in the research journal Scientific Reports describes how the team developed kirigami-based lithium-ion batteries using a combination of folds and cuts to create patterns that enable a significant increase in stretchability.
The kirigami-based prototype battery was sewn into an elastic wristband that was attached to a smart watch. The battery fully powered the watch and its functions – including playing video – as the band was being stretched.
“This type of battery could potentially be used to replace the bulky and rigid batteries that are limiting the development of compact wearable electronic devices,” Jiang said.
Such stretchable batteries could even be integrated into fabrics – including those used for clothing, he said.
The researchers have provided a video demonstrating the kirigami-inspired battery in action,
Here’s a link to and a citation for the paper,
Kirigami-based stretchable lithium-ion batteries by Zeming Song, Xu Wang, Cheng Lv, Yonghao An, Mengbing Liang, Teng Ma, David He, Ying-Jie Zheng, Shi-Qing Huang, Hongyu Yu & Hanqing Jiang. Scientific Reports 5, Article number: 10988 doi:10.1038/srep10988 Published 11 June 2015
This is an open access paper.
According to the ASU news release, the team published a previous paper on origami-inspired batteries and some of the problems associated with them (Note: Links have been removed),
An earlier paper in the research journal Nature Communications by Jiang and some of his research team members and other colleagues provides an in-depth look at progress and obstacles in the development of origami-based lithium-ion batteries.
The paper explains technical challenges in flexible-battery development that Jiang says his team’s kirigami-based devices are helping to solve.
Read more about the team’s recent progress and the potential applications of stretchable batteries in Popular Mechanics, the Christian Science Monitor, Yahoo News and the Daily Mail.
Here’s a link to and a citation for the team’s earlier paper,
Origami lithium-ion batteries by Zeming Song, Teng Ma, Rui Tang, Qian Cheng, Xu Wang, Deepakshyam Krishnaraju, Rahul Panat, Candace K. Chan, Hongyu Yu, & Hanqing Jiang. Nature Communications 5, Article number: 3140 doi:10.1038/ncomms4140 Published 28 January 2014
This paper is behind a paywall but there is a free preview available via ReadCube Access.
On a related note, Dexter Johnson has written up Binghamton University research into paper-based origami batteries powered by the respiration of bacteria in a June 16, 2015 posting on his Nanoclast blog.