Fed up with re-charging your smart phone every single day? Good news: batteries for phones and laptops will soon be able to recharge ten times faster than they are today. Furthermore, these batteries hold a charge ten times larger than current technology allows.
Scientists at Northwestern University have changed the materials in lithium-ion batteries to boost their abilities. One change involves poking millions of minuscule holes in the battery. Batteries built using the novel technique could be in the shops within five years, the scientists estimate. A mobile phone battery built using the Northwestern techniques would charge from flat in 15 minutes and last a week before needing a recharge.
The downside to this new technique is that the recharging and power gains decrease sharply after a battery has been charged about 150 times.
“Even after 150 charges, which would be one year or more of operation, the battery is still five times more effective than lithium-ion batteries on the market today,” said lead scientist Prof Harold Kung from the chemical and biological engineering department at Northwestern.
Xin Zhao, Cary M. Hayner, Mayfair C. Kung, & Harold H. Kung (2011). In-Plane Vacancy-Enabled High-Power Si–Graphene Composite Electrode for Lithium-Ion Batteries Advanced Energy Materials, 1 (6), 1079-1084 : 10.1002/aenm.201100426