Researchers at Standford University have found a new way to use silicon nanowires as anodes which could increase the battery capacities manifolds along with triggering of the arrival of batteries that would last 30-40 hours on a single charge.
The latest advancement in battery technology means batteries with 10 times more charge than the conventional Li-ion batteries. Lithium ion batteries are used in mobiles,digital cammeras,ipods,laptops and other such portable devices. This development of using silicon nanowires to give rechargeable Li-ion batteries has a potential to give 40 hours of battery life to conventional laptop in one charge.
The new Li-ion batteries were developed by assistant professor Yi Cui and colleges at Stanford University’s Materials Science and Engineering Department. “It’s not a small improvement,” Cui said. “It’s a revolutionary development.”
Cui said the increased battery capacity was made possible though a new type of anode that utilizes silicon nanowires. Traditional lithium ion batteries use graphite as the anode. This limits the amount of lithium–which holds the charge–that can be held in the anode, and it therefore limits battery life.
In Cui’s anode, the lithium is stored in a forest of tiny silicon nanowires, each with a diameter that is a thousandth of the thickness of a sheet of paper. The nanowires inflate to four times their normal size as they soak up lithium, but unlike previous silicon anodes, they do not fracture like graphite-based anodes.
The latest technology is still in the evaluation phase and pending testing. Cui has already filed a patent on the technology and is considering formation of a company or an agreement with a battery manufacturer.
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