There are two basic types of battery that are often made in laminar, disposable form. Part of the assembly process, which is often reel to reel, may include screen printing of active components. The one that is potentially lowest cost and is regarded as most environmental is based on manganese dioxide and zinc. It is a primary battery. Power Paper and licensees such as Graphic Solutions make these. Ever Ready works with Thin Battery Technology and Precisia on another version. The alternatives are various forms of lithium battery based on gels etc. Oak Ridge National Research Laboratory in the US has licensed over 100 companies to make these. Suppliers and developers include Angeon, Excellatron, Infinite Power Solutions. Lithium batteries are typically rechargeable but in thin film form they are usually used as primary batteries. Because only micrograms of lithium compounds are used, the proponents argue that there is no risk of explosion and that they are also environmental.
Applications of thin film batteries are mainly outside RFID at present, including backup power for electronic circuits and to drive talking gift cards. However, there is a big push to get them used widely in RFID where they would increase range, tolerance of metal and absorbent material and so on.