Nov 15 AT 5:48 PM Dustin Earley 44 Comments

New Li-ion battery technology offers 10x battery life and faster charge times

Droid Charge battery 4G LTE

As smartphone internals like processors and graphics chips continue to evolve, they become more efficient with each generation. However, battery technology has started to slow down when it comes to the lithium-ion juice inside smartphones. The only way battery life has been extended in phones recently is due to power consumption advancements in other hardware. But thanks to some researchers out of Northwestern University, that’s about to change.

Documented in a paper titled “In-Plane Vacancy-Enabled High-Power Si-Graphene Composite Electrode for Lithium-Ion Batteries,” researchers at Northwestern are claiming that they have developed a new lithium-ion electrode that will hold a charge for ten times longer than current Li-ion batteries.

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.Harold H. KungNorthwestern University

The technology behind the improvements are, as expected, relatively complicated, but what they mean for smartphones and other portable electronics is not.

Right now, most Android phone batteries last anywhere from a full day, to 5 hours, to everything in between. With moderate use on WiFi, I can sometimes make my Nexus S last a full 24 hours on one single charge. Of course its screaming to be plugged in by that time, but it happens. Now imagine if that same phone didn’t just last for one day, but for ten. Personally, I cannot even imagine what it would be like to only have to charge my phone three times a month. As hardware continues to be less power hungry, cell phones could theoretically eventually last for a couple weeks or more.

That kind of battery life may be a ways off, but if this latest development in battery technology is utilized soon, we’ll be seeing dramatically improved charge times and charge life before you know it.

The full paper on the developments can be found in Advanced Energy Materials.

Source: PC Mag

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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