With Li-Polymer batteries become more mainstream as of 2011-2012, we've seen a change in our how smartphones are being manufactured. Companies can now further edit the structure of the battery, making them thinner than before to please today's consumers. Imagine, then, an even more flexible type of battery; one that can bend up to 300%.
Yonggang Huang, an engineer from Northwestern University, has created just that with the help of John Rogers from the University of Illinois. These stretchable batteries would initially be used in the medical field to help keep track of patients - for example, a heart monitor could be embedded into cardiac tissue.
The researchers were able to create this by placing several individual battery storage components next to each other. These are all connected with wavy wires to ensure that the material can still move around, while the rigidity of the small battery parts themselves help ensures that they don't break.
If this type of technology ever hits the marketplace en masse, we may see it spill over into other electronics, primarily phones, where a varying size of battery would help determine the size of the machine itself.
April 17, 2012 23:43 by Jeremy
U.S. battery materials supplier, 3M, has recently been granted $4.6 million by the U.S. Department of Energy to further their efforts in creating the next advancement for lithium ion batteries. There's hope that a major change in lithium ion batteries will positively affect their use in electric vehicles.
Currently, 3M is doing research around their latest patent, which involves Silicon anodes that could increase call capacity by over 40% when matched with certain cathodes.. This, of course, could have an effect on not just larger-scale lithium ion batteries, such as for electric vehicles, but even smaller-scale lithium ion batteries used in cell phones, laptops, and camcorders.
Sources: businesswire, 3M
November 30, 2011 01:10 by Jeremy
A recent groundbreaking study has led to success in increasing charging capacity and speed of lithium ion batteries. Professor Harold Kung and his group of engineers at Northwestern University have accomplished this feat by adjusting graphene layers, which are directly related to how fast charging can occur. Now, charging capcity and speed increase by a factor of ten, just by poking small holes in the battery's graphene layers.
Additionally, Kung's team also increased the density of lithium ions, which allowed for their test-batteries to last for over a week on a single charge. (The science behind it isn't so simple, of course.) The downside is that these lithium-ion batteries lost their fast-charging long-lasting abilities after roughly 150 charges, which is a drastic difference in how long lithium-ion batteries normally last.
If perfected, this science could help create the next generation lithium-ion battery. Check out the source link below for more info.
Simotomo Electric Industries, Ltd. (SEI) has developed a new battery based on Celmet, a highly porous metal made from nickel. Due to the structure of Celmet, it has become reknowned as a current-collecting ingredient, making it ideal for collecting charges in a battery.
Celmet has been gaining popularity recently due to its use in nickel-hydrogen batteries for hybrid cars. And now, SEI has combined Celmet with Aluminum, making the material Aluminum-Celmet.
This offers a few advantages, such as the fact that Aluminum is lighter than Celmet's frequent-partner Nickel. Also, Aluminum is used often with smaller batteries, such as AA's and AAA's. Due to its light weight, it coudl likely be added to lithium-ion secondary batteries and capacitors to improve their capacity.
With Aluminum-Celmet inside of rechargeable batteries, we could see the creation of even smaller, faster-charging batteries for our electronic devices.
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A recent article on AllThingsD by Katherine Boehret compared the differences between the iPad 2 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. While the prices are the same for each ($499 for the 16GB WiFi model, $599 for the 32GB WiFi model), differences include the camera, the physical size, and the app market.
Most importantly, however, was the difference in battery life. Boehret's testing (which included 75% screen brightness, WiFi-enabled, and a video loop) concluded that the iPad 2 would last just slightly over 10 hours, while the Galaxy Tab ran at a measly 5 hours 38 minutes in comparison.
Sure, the Galaxy Tab may be just a bit thinner (and really, who doesn't like sleek?) and have better camera quality; but is it worth half the battery life? Granted, it's doubtful people will be using the battery constantly like Boehret did in her testing, so I'm sure that the battery lasts longer than 5 hours on average. Nonetheless, it's something to consider when purchasing a tablet.
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