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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  • Galen20K

    the cake is a lie…

    • Tyler

      But it tastes soooooo goooood!!!! Gimme gimme gimme….

  • Nathan

    Yes finally now put it in android phones and we all are very happy =)

    • Nathan

      Sorry about the grammar the end supposed to say and we all would be very happy

  • ben dover

    I’ve been reading about a few other new battery technologies that are up and coming. All I want is just one of them to hurry up and make it to the market!

    This one sounds like it’s closer to production than some of the other “lab” batteries that are out there.

  • M3rc Nate

    I am curious in what way the battery life lasts longer? If its the actual battery, does that mean theoretically if i bought a Transformer Prime then this battery technology went consumer, Asus could release a replacement battery that has this new implementation in it and you could swap batteries in your T-Prime and 10x battery life on a charge.

    I assume it is the actual battery that has been improved, and i doubt they had to make the batteries bigger to improve them, so i see no reason old tech (smartphones, tablets) couldnt have these new batteries created for them, just like how companies make replacements right now, but are OEM so identical to what your phone originally came with.

    Overall, exciting, because like this article said, as technology exponentially improved, battery life for things has gotten worse and worse. With a mni computer in your pocket, a ultra camera hanging from your neck (18 MP DLSR 1080P vid recording) and laptops as powerful as 20 year old super computers…we need rechargeable batteries to greatly improve.



      • blkidea


    • thel0nerang3r

      If I’m reading it correctly, this improves the life of the battery and not the charge capacity.
      researchers at Northwestern are claiming that they have developed a new lithium-ion electrode that will hold a charge for ten limes longer than current Li-ion batteries.

      means that battery will hold more charge/discharge cycles. Is anyone else reading the same?
      The life of a battery is normally measured on how many cycles it has before it can only hold 50% of the original charge…. so,the above means that it will take 10x as long for the battery to reach is EOL. Anyone else reading it that way?

      • jbf

        Nope. I was expecting that as I read the article but it sounds like each individual charge is 10x longer.

        Companies have no incentive to use a technology that extends battery life (not charge) because then why would we upgrade if our phones work just as well 3 or 4 years down the line.

    • Kam_Pewter

      That’s a good point. I was thinking (hoping) that my next phone would have one of these ridiculously long-lasting batteries, but there’s really no reason I couldn’t buy a replacement battery with this tech in it. If that happens, it’ll suck to be one of those iphone (or razr) users with no removable batteries…

  • AppleFUD

    I hate reading about these new battery technologies because, all they say is it’s several years at best till we will see it :(

  • charliethesuperturtle

    Maybe now the thunderbolt will last 6 hours….

  • Paul

    Yeah, I can see the bidding wars for the tech now. Apple will put serious money into buying all the rights/patents and then not license it to anybody. I hope LG/Samsung/Googarola/HTC, or even Sony, get to it first.

    • M3rc Nate

      Yeah i couldnt agree more, and thats scary and (IMHO) wrong. I get that this country (U.S.A.) is based on capitalism etc, but improvements like these, overall big technological or medical improvements that effects everything across the board should be allowed for all to use. Though its asking a lot for the creators of this new tech to release it on the web for free and not make millions/billions selling it to apple.
      Even though i have a disdain for apple as a company and have huge issues with almost all their products, i dont want them to NOT get battery improvement tech either, i want EVERYone to have phones with mega battery life.
      Something this huge isnt something i want to see used as a “we got it and you dont!” like Android users do with flash or Apple users do with Siri.

  • spintrex

    This sounds more than exciting, finally the days of finding an outlet on the go will be less frustrating.

    These new Li-ion batteries plus fusing solar cells with LCDs seems like a great future for long battery life.

    • Toonshorty

      I hope everyone gets to it and that nobody is allowed to patent it. Stopping the freedom of technical advancements like this and restricting it to one company is suicide for the development of technology. If nobody could patent, companies would spend their legal money on making their product better instead.

  • AsakuraZero

    looks like the future will be made out of graphene and im not against it, i look forward those old days of having a cellphone which lasted for a week in one charge

  • Eddie

    While this is great for Phones, I see the implications for electric cars much more useful.
    Right now Tesla’s new car is supposedly able to go 300 miles on a single charge so in theory that same size battery should be able to go 3000 miles before needing a charge. Thats like 4 charges a year for normal driving conditions. (12,000 miles). So a 150 charges is like 37 years worth of charges.

    My guess is that batteries will just be smaller instead of just 10 day charges. Dunno though.

  • KenG

    They’re talking about the number of times a battery can be charged, not how much power it will hold. They are just saying the battery can be charged 10x more before dying than the existing batteries now.

    A nice thing to have, but it’s not going to help you out because your LTE radio is draining your battery.

  • Vignesh

    The most important and awesome material is currently the difficult component as well…GRAPHENE.

  • Arnold

    The author did not understand the subject, the new batteries will wear out 10 times slower, but it does NOT mean that they will last 10 times longer per charge !!!

    It means that even after 5 years of use, the battery will still function correctly.

  • Christian

    It appears you are horribly confused. The “charge life” the paper refers to has nothing to do with how much energy the battery with stores, but rather with the battery’s long-term viability. As li-ion batteries grow older, they lose capacity. This new technology will improve the length of time that a battery stays viable, but it does not appear that it will have any effect on the length of a single charge.

  • andrew

    Author totally misunderstood the article which makes this post useless.

    • Christian

      Worse than useless, actually. The author is spreading incorrect information.

  • deus

    If all of the battery technology that is 3 to 5 years away hits in the next 3 to 5 years, then we can expect battery capacities 3 to 5 thousand times of current capacities.

  • Peter

    As pointed out, this is more about the longevity of the battery itself, not the amount of juice available. What this also does is reduce the static drain on the battery (something every motorcycle rider has encountered. Left alone, batteries will slowly drain. With this electrode, the drain is reduced.

    • BlueScreenJunky

      That’s what I understood too : the battery will still be rated 1500 mAh or whatever, but it will be able to keep most of its juice for years if it’s not being used. This is great for remote controls, alarm clocks and stuff like that, but pretty useless for a phone in my opinion.

  • ed-UK

    Author is very confused as mentioned above. Very poor show

  • Gr8Ray

    “ten limes longer than current Li-ion batteries”

    I prefer my limes to go to eleven.

    • Robit

      I am sorry but the author of this article has misinterpreted the results of this development.
      It does not mean that the capacity of the battery will be improved by 10 times. It means that the charge life or how many times you can recharge the battery will be improved by 10 times. This is still great because typical LI batteries can only be recharged from 300 to 500 times before they lose 20% of their capacity. This is now 3,000 to 5,000 charges which means you will probably never need to replace your battery during the life of the product.

  • Dragonithe

    Am I the only one that finds it disturbing that they say that 150 charges gives you one year or more of battery life? I think I burn trough 150 charges in about 5 months.

  • Vectrex

    10 times the charge CYCLES will have a big impact on the electric car market. Currently the relatively short lifetime of the battery is the only real service cost associated with them.

  • Jeffroid

    guys guys.. I read most of the comments above. here’s the clarification, engadget posted the same news:


  • Mil

    10 times the battery capacity and 10 times faster to recharge is awesome news. Finally we can have smartphones that can last many days without charging (like the good ol’ Nokia phones). However, the technology is probably still 5 years away from being brought to market so it will be a while before we see anything.

  • triangle

    It’ll be great to have longer battery life and I would trade that off for fewer charging cycles (within reason). It sounds like this will be great when it actually is commercialized. Even though it’ll take a while, we have something to look forward to.

  • inviolable

    Harold Kung’s quote sounds like he’s talking about the life of the battery, in reference to the effectiveness of each charge the more times you charge it, since rechargeable batteries don’t work as well after they have been charged a lot. The article seems to be talking about the length of the time the battery lasts between each charge.. Am I missing something?

  • derekdroid

    This article is a crack of s***. I commented on it before, it’s not possible to make batteries with the same volume and size to host more capacity! Forget about it. I we would have more chemical elements in this world and to build perfect anodes and cathodes, this would be possible. Off to my today’s solution of the battery issue for Android –

    • Kam_Pewter

      Well, if you’ve made the same comment before, then it MUST be true!

  • Kevin

    Did he/she just say 150 charges is a year or more? I’m literally laughing my ass off. 150 charges is roughtly 80 day. For phucks sake.

  • Leo Young

    10 times the capacity would be nice. Even charging once a week would be awesome.

  • pritams