Breakthrough can make devices run for weeks on a single charge
A frustration for gadget users is battery life but scientists at a US university have developed materials that are able to store power that lasts for weeks.
Scientists at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee made the breakthrough with materials that can behave like a battery to store and discharge energy.
Imagine a laptop whose casing could also serve as the battery or the electric car powered by the energy that’s been stored in its chassis.
Last year the university’s engineers also developed a super capacitor made of silicon and small enough to fit onto a chip that can be used with mobile devices.
This would be a game changer for the smartphone and tablet market with battery life able to be sustained for days and possibly even weeks at a time.
The silicon super capacitor stores energy by gathering ions with the material’s porous surface.
The team at Vanderbilt University coated the silicon with a layer of graphene to make the silicon surface more stable and a far better medium to store energy.
This means the material can assemble electrically charged ions on the surface instead of storing it in chemical reactions the way a battery does.
And not only can the technology make your charge last longer, it can also be charged to full capacity in minutes.
This could change the way devices are manufactured with the very material they are constructed from being able to supply the power to run them.
“As far as we can tell it is possible to create materials that can store and discharge significant amounts of electricity while they are subject to realistic static loads and dynamic forces, such as vibrations or impacts,” said Vanderbilt University professor Carey Pint.