Convenience is the byword of our generation and it is no different when it comes to charging fast-depleting phone batteries. Stanford’s brains have come up with an innovative mobile aluminium-ion battery that claims to charge any smartphone in under 60 seconds.
This crazy invention from Stanford’s lab is a bendable mobile battery that comes with a simple, flexible design providing a relatively inexpensive and safe alternative to traditional batteries. The battery is an aluminium anode, a graphite cathode and an ionic liquid electrolyte all inside a flexible polymer-coated pouch.
Speaking about the prowess of their invention Hongjie Dai, Professor of chemistry at Stanford University said, “We have developed a rechargeable aluminium battery that may replace existing storage devices, such as alkaline batteries, which are bad for the environment, and lithium-ion batteries, which occasionally burst into flames. Our new battery won’t catch fire, even if you drill through it.”
The new technology claims not only to charge faster than conventional batteries but also offers longer-lasting battery life. It is said to last seven times longer than the usual Lithium-ion battery. In terms of charging, a regular battery can only last for 1000 recharge cycles before it gives up; the new aluminium one can go on for 7500 charge cycles. Dai and Gong both agreed that “This was the first time an ultra-fast aluminium-ion battery was constructed with stability over thousands of cycles.”
Dai, and co-author of the study, Stanford graduate student Ming Gong also explained its components and said that the battery contains two low-priced aluminium electrodes, long cycle life, flexibility, high-speed charging but more importantly high safety features which prevents the battery from blowing up indiscriminately and unmatched performance which means users will be able to see their battery go from flickering to full in less time than it takes to hunt for the charger and plug it in. The use of aluminium not only lowers the cost of production but also means that it has low flammability and high-charge storage capacity.
Talking about how its flexibility makes it an ideal candidate for use in future electronics, Gong said, “Another feature of the aluminium battery is flexibility. You can bend it and fold it, so it has the potential for use in flexible electronic devices. Aluminium is also a cheaper metal than lithium.”
Explaining their choice of aluminium, Dai said, “People have tried different kinds of materials for the cathode. We accidentally discovered that a simple solution is to use graphite, which is basically carbon. In our study, we identified a few types of graphite material that give us very good performance.” Gong added, “The electrolyte is basically a salt that’s liquid at room temperature, so it’s very safe.”
No matter how many hours of usage smartphones claim to provide, we all face the regular frustration of fast-draining batteries. The new technology however might offer the cheapest, best and most eco-friendly solution.