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[] R&D: A Battery That Lasts A Whole Week And Charges In Just 15 Minutes - - different look at memory


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Old 20-11-2011, 08:32 PM   #1
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[] R&D: A Battery That Lasts A Whole Week And Charges In Just 15 Minutes

Imagine an amazing cellphone battery that lasts a whole week on one charge and takes a mere 15 minutes to recharge from flat. Sounds like science fiction or a dodgy claim, right? Well, incredibly, it isn't, but we will have to wait three to five years for such a wonder. Current high-end smartphones usually have to be recharged once a day, because battery technology really hasn't advanced enough to keep up with their increasing power demands. The same is also true of course, of anything else that uses batteries, such as laptops and electric cars. In the latter case, the batteries cost thousands, go flat pretty quickly, take an age to recharge and don't have that great a working lifetime. No wonder electric cars are still shunned by people that want real performance and practicality from their cars.

But all these frustrating limitations are set to end, if research with the catchy name of "In-Plane Vacancy-Enabled High-Power Si–Graphene Composite Electrode for Lithium-Ion Batteries" published in the November 2011 issue of Advanced Energy Materials is anything to go by. The lead author of this article (paywall) is Harold H Kung, who is professor of chemical and biological engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. He also is a Dorothy Ann and Clarence L. Ver Steeg Distinguished Research Fellow. So, a pretty bright bod, then. He has written in the article:
We have found a way to extend a new lithium-ion battery's charge life by 10 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.
That's amazing. Really amazing and the kind of breakthrough the world has been waiting impatiently for, for years. So, how has this been achieved? There are two main problems that have been overcome – and overcome in one fell swoop.

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