Innovation Sphere



Project TitleCorrosion Prevention using Paintable Batteries
Track Code2014-011
Short Description
Tagsbattery, corrosion, protection, cathodic, prevention, paintable, spray printing
Posted DateMay 31, 2016 7:00 PM


Corrosion is major issue in many industries as the exposure of large-area metallic surfaces is often unavoidable in applications such as oil rigs, chemical plants, construction, shipping, and mining, among others. Many attempts have been made at applying material coatings to limit the surface exposure yet these are often costly and short lasting, for example, the Golden Gate Bridge is re-painted every year, a continuous year long process involving thousands of hours of labor. In some cases cathodic protection schemes have been explored, however these are often challenging in remote or inaccessible areas.


A new technology developed at Rice University represents a different approach to corrosion prevention. First, a novel paintable or sprayable method of producing energy storage devices in nearly any configuration is used to fabricate a battery on a surface of interest. The battery allows for the surface to be maintained at a constant negative potential, thereby protecting it from corrosion. Second, an energy conversion device such as piezoelectrics, solar cells, or thermoelectrics is coupled and used to recharge the battery. This type of hybrid device allows for constant corrosion prevention via cathodic protection without any external intervention.  

Benefits and Features

  • Spray painting of battery device layers allows for fabrication on a variety of materials and in different form factors
  • Ability to integrate a battery with different types of metals to prevent corrosion
  • Technology could be used to retrofit cathodic corrosion protection on large-area metallic surfaces

Market Potential / Applications

This approach to providing cathodic corrosion protection by coupling a paintable battery and an energy conversion device could have applications in oil and gas, mining, construction, transportation, and infrastructure industries. This technology could be particularly advantageous in remote applications or inaccessible areas.

Development and Licensing Status

Patent pending; available for licensing from Rice University. Tested at the laboratory scale.

Rice Researcher

Pulickel Ajayan is the Benjamin M. and Mary Greenwood Anderson Professor in Engineering at Rice University.

Technology Relevant Papers and Web Links

N. Singh, C. Galande, A. Miranda, A. Mathkar, W. Gao, A. L. M. Reddy, A. Vlad, P. M. Ajayan, “Paintable Battery”, Scientific Reports 2 (2012);

Case #


Inquiries to:

Andy Gapin,, (713) 348-6272