Comparing this new lithium-ion battery technology to the battery in your smartphone; this will last 30x longer, charge 1,000x faster, or it can deliver the same power but be 10 times smaller, wafer thin and flexible.
The creators of this new technology, at the University of Illinois, boast that with this new battery in your phone, it could jump start your car and then recharge the phone in the blink of an eye. Applications for this battery are immense. Battery powered cars will finally become practical, and fully recharge within seconds. Wearable computing will be smaller and more efficient, such as the upcoming Smart Watches and Google Glass.
“Any kind of electronic device is limited by the size of the battery – until now,” Prof King has said. “Consider personal medical devices and implants, where the battery is an enormous brick, and it’s connected to itty-bitty electronics and tiny wires. Now the battery is also tiny.”
The development team hope to have the technology ready to be trialled as a power source for electronic equipment before the end of the year. We can expect to by experiencing the benefit of these batteries within 2 years, or sooner should it be backed by major companies.
You can read more about the research in the publication Journal Nature Communications.
How it works
The University of Illinois team calls this new tech, “microbatteries”. The micro small size is made capable through the use of 3D-electrodes which involves a new way of integrating the anode and cathode at the microscale. The battery electrodes have small intertwined fingers that reach into each other, allowing them to have a very high surface area even though the overall battery volume is extremely small.
We have seen many safety issue with batteries in the past. Prof King settles the safety fears though, he says that the batteries will be produced using a safe polymer-based electrolyte, significantly reducing the risks of combustion, and allowing the batteries to be built to a large mass while still remaining stable.
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