New research could increase current battery life by 10 times

It's the bane of smartphone, tablet and laptop PC owners the world over. The fanciest and most powerful technology that can be put into those products still has one large limitation: the battery. How many of us have seen our devices out of power with no electrical outlet available to use? Now researchers at Northwestern University may have found a way to increase both the charge and to decrease the charging time for lithium-ion batteries.

According to a recent press release from the university, the research centers on the battery's anode which in current batteries is made of carbon-based sheets. These sheets can only hold one lithium atom for every six carbon atoms in batteries. The Northwestern research team have found a way to make a new version of an anode via silicon. The press release states that the team have "sandwiched clusters of silicon between the graphene sheets." This allows for much more lithium atoms to be held. In addition, the clusters of silicon with graphene sheets allow for the battery charge to take less time.

In basic terms the research could lead to new lithium ion batteries that will take as little as 15 minutes to be fully charged. Furthermore, those same batteries could hold up to 10 times the charge compared to current battery designs. Obviously such technology could lead to smartphones, tablets and laptops that could run all day with continuous use. It could also make electric cars more viable. The research team predicts that batteries using their techniques could be launched in between three to five years.

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The article misses out on the part that after about 150 charges the performance drops considerably but still lasts longer than current batteries.

My current phone lasts a day of good use so up to 10x will mean I charge it 3 times a month, that's about 3+ years at full power before it drops.. which is one year longer than keep my phones

hmmm I'm sceptical there was supposed to be a technology like this about 3 years ago so we should be seeing it now. It was going to make charging much faster and improve battery life just like this but using a different technique, honeycomb construction iirc

I will wait and see what happens

Batteries are pretty much the only thing I hate about technology. It never moves forward, we're constantly breaking boundaries for overclocking, graphics, memory yet batteries never change.

I'm excited about this prospect, however how many times in the last 5 years have we heard "NEW BATTERY OMG"? Really?

Anyone who read the announcement will know that the number of charges drops dramatically.
This means the planned obsolescence of your electronics with non-removable batteries can happen at the industry's pace, rather than your own.
You know who you are.

This will happen. But in 3-5 years it will come out in a superthin, flexible display, ultralight laptop that lasts 5 hours. Instead of giving us more time, they will give us smaller batteries.

mrp04 said,
Seems like every year we have a new "BREAKTHROUGH IN BATTERY TECH" that nothing ever comes out of.

It sure seems that way. It would be really nice if something actually came out... Battery tech is in dire need of an update.

What I want is a nuclear atom that is being compacted and safely packaged into a tiny battery package - battery lasts forever

3-5 years? C'mon. We know what will happen, 5 years later, and there's still no show...

How long have the been saying we've found new ways to improve batteries in the last 5 years?

Incoming patent on this then a major battery manufacturer or an oil company buying the patent for a large, undisclosed sum and burying it so we never see this tech. come to fruition.

FuhrerDarqueSyde said,
Incoming patent on this then a major battery manufacturer or an oil company buying the patent for a large, undisclosed sum and burying it so we never see this tech. come to fruition.

Down with IP, up with competition!

Enron said,
Apple is going to buy this technology and make it exclusive to their products.

if I were to venture something apple would spend their money on, its a newer battey technology. they're probably at it already. so i wouldnt blame them tbh

this is nothing but a good thing

because for laptops getting roughly 24hours would be a massive increase from where they are at now. or for smaller devices that already use low power they could get many days, maybe a week or more.

danisflying527 said,
Thank god finally some new battery technology!

Agreed, I hope it's available sooner than 3 to 5 years though... lol