Imagine this. You’re in the middle of nowhere. Your car is broken down. You need a jump, but nobody’s in sight for miles. So, you just pull your smartphone out, hook the battery up to the jumper cable, fire up your car and drive off. Also, your phone recharges in an instant when you plug it into the charger in your car. Also there is candy.
Sound nuts? It’s being developed in Illinois, as we speak. Well, not the candy, but everything else.
Specifically, it’s a battery developed by William King and his team, to address how current batteries are kinda crap. They lose their charge too quickly and take too long to recharge. That’s mostly due to the surface area of the anode and the cathode, which are the key parts of the battery. The more surface area the better.
So King and his team solved that by essentially turning them into wiffle balls.
The batteries owe their high performance to their internal three-dimensional microstructure. Building on a novel fast-charging cathode design by materials science and engineering professor Paul Braun’s group, King and Pikul developed a matching anode and then developed a new way to integrate the two components at the microscale to make a complete battery with superior performance.
This is a big deal because essentially it’s the battery holding back smartphones the thickness of credit cards, computers put in slap bracelets, and other minor crap like medical devices.
The main problem is figuring out how to make these easier to mass produce; as you might guess whittling tiny-ass wiffle balls out of lithium isn’t exactly a cheap process just yet.
But the technology is there and tested, so really it’s just a matter of getting that bad boy into our phones. Of course, this probably means the phone taser will soon be a reality, but hey, at least it’ll charge quickly.
I want more like this!
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