Technology manufacturers have designed a new type of battery that has the capacity to carry twice the energy of the phone batteries available on the market today.
The engineering breakthrough allows for smaller batteries to carry as much charge as their larger equivalents. Ions are the particles than store a battery’s charge. The proposed batteries can carry twice the amount of ions as lithium-ion counterparts than regular phone batteries.
Manufacturers have long sought a solution to improving large batteries that lose charge easily but have found themselves hindered by the difficulties and chemical limits of using lithium-ion technology.
However, the new batteries, developed by SolidEnergy Systems (which started at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is run by former students)have unlocked the potential to make smaller batteries than can hold the same amount of power as larger ones, or make batteries the same size than can keep a mobile powered up for twice as long.
The key component of the battery is the use of lithium metal that could soon replace the traditional lithium ion batteries currently used in smartphones. Lithium metal has been trailed on many occasions but comes with issues, including safety. Researchers discovered that after time small metal bumps would appear leading to overheating. SolidEnergy have overcome this issue by coating the battery in a thin solid electrolyte which prevents the battery getting too hot.
Qichao Hu, SolidEnergy’s chief executive, said: “It is kind of the holy grail for batteries. With two-times the energy density, we can make a battery half the size, but that still lasts the same amount of time, as a lithium ion battery. Or we can make a battery the same size as a lithium ion battery, but now it will last twice as long.”
SolidEnergy has also released plans to make the batteries available to smartphone and wearable technology manufacturers next year. In the future they intend to extent the technology to electric car makers.