New Battery Technology May Extend Smartphone Life Ten-Fold

No matter how powerful a phone’s hardware, it’s only a useful tool so long as it stays powered. Being able to hold a charge, especially over a full day of heavy usage, is an issue that plenty of phones struggle with. Efforts to design smartphones using lower-power components is one part of the struggle to keep battery life at an acceptable level. We see this in features like the Tegra 3’s reduced-power “companion core”. On the other end of things, we could tackle the problem just as easily by increasing battery capacity. A group of engineers has designed a new take on the lithium-ion rechargeable battery that could hope to increase its capacity ten-fold, while also speeding-up charge times.

The group’s idea is to augment the traditional carbon anode with one containing layers of silicon. The silicon is more able to transfer charge to lithium ions, dramatically increasing energy density. As for making a battery that also charges faster, it may be as simple as poking that anode full of nano-scale holes, benefiting ion mobility.

There’s no word on if we may hope to see this technology in commercially available batteries anytime soon, but the engineers still have plenty of work left to do. These developments only focused on the battery’s anode; there’s a whole other world of potential improvements to be had once they turn their attention to the cathode.

Source: Northwestern University

Via: phoneArena

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Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!