This high powered battery contains supercapacitors that are able to store a huge amount of energy. According to the developers, it looks like a thin slab of pliable metal that is roughly the size of a fingernail, and because of its size and shape, could be used in phones, electric vehicles and even watches. It can be used in a variety of ways.
Apart from storing a vast amount of energy in a minute amount of time, this small battery can also be recharged for more than a whopping 30,000 times, whereas normal lithium-ion batteries only stay efficient within a few hundred charges, after which they begin to exhaust. They usually go between 300 to 500 full charge and drain cycles before falling to 70% of their original capacity.
It is rare to see a lithium-ion battery that can go through more than 1500 charges before it begins to fail, as stated by the researchers in Florida. Other guesses put the lifecycle of current batteries on the market at a maximum of 7000 charges.
“If they were to replace the batteries with these supercapacitors, you could charge your mobile phone in a few seconds and you wouldn’t need to charge it again for over a week,” said Professor Nitin Choudhary, who is one of the researchers behind the new device’s technology.
Up till now, supercapacitors were not used to make batteries as they would be required to have a larger size than those available currently. But the researchers at Florida have surpassed this obstacle in their way, developing these supercapacitors with tiny wires with the thickness of a mere nanometre. It is then coated with a high-energy shell, due to which the core of the wires is highly conductive to permit charging in a very rapid way.
“For small electronic devices, our materials are surpassing the conventional ones worldwide in terms of energy density, power density and cyclic stability,” said Prof Choudhary. Cyclic stability refers to the number of times a battery can be fully charged and drained before it starts to degrade.
While the battery is not ready to use, it signifies an appreciable step forward in an otherwise stagnating technology.
Other ongoing research into the technology has recently led to the development of tiny “lithium metal” batteries that are packed with twice as many ions, and another nanowire battery that can withstand 200,000 charges.
Lithium-ion batteries, while used commonly in smartphones, tablets and wearables, are known to lose capacity over time and can end up being dangerous. It was because of this property that the battery in Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 overheated and exploded.
- fast-charging: google