Put that portable charger away, because something better might be coming soon.
How do they plan to do this? By creating what is called a ‘pure lithium’ battery. Lithium itself is a highly reactive and unstable substance, and so far scientists have only been able to use lithium in the electrolyte, one of three parts of a battery. Stanford is now adding lithium in another part, the anode, which due to it’s unstable property is difficult to do so, but through the power of nanotechnology, they have found the trick to increase it’s efficiency by leaps and bounds.
The team will include Steven Chu, the 12th United States Secretary of Energy and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997; and Yi Cui, Stanford Professor and founder of Silicon Valley start-up Amprius, who just received $30 million in venture capital in January to sell a new type of long-lasting lithium-ion battery.
“If we can triple the energy density and simultaneously decrease the cost four-fold, that would be very exciting,” Chu said in a university announcement. “We would have a cellphone with triple the battery life and an electric vehicle with a 300-mile range that cost $25,000 — and with better performance than an internal combustion engine car getting 40 mpg.”
They will be harnessing nanotechnology to be accomplishing this feat, though skeptics are concerned that battery created will not be “cheap enough” to produce. But if you’re itching to see this new battery in the next batch of smartphones, you’ll just have to wait. Cui says it will likely take three to five years to bring the product to market.