Scientists at Berkeley Labs develop better Li-Ion batteries

By on September 26, 2011
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Can store up to 8 times the charge of standard li-ion batteries.

A recent study revealed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Labs), has shown that scientists have created a new type of anode that can help improve the battery life of standard Lithium-Ion batteries by 8 times.

Basically our standard li-ion batteries, used in smartphones, laptops, DSLRs and other consumer electronics around us, holds charge in anodes made from graphite . When conducting electricity, the graphite anodes expand slightly within their housing, and then shrink down to their original size slightly as the energy gets discharged. However, anodes made from silicon can store 8 times the lithium of graphite anodes. The flip side is that these anodes also expand up to 3 times their size when fully charged.

And so the scientists at Berkeley Labs have come up with a custom polymer that is able to hold the lithium-storing silicon ions very closely as they expand and shrink during discharge. These new anodes are made of low cost materials and as such, are compatible with existing lithium-ion manufacturing process.

The full report on the findings can be seen at Advanced Materials. Hopefully this means that we can finally see better battery life on modern smartphones and laptops.


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From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

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