Battery life woes could be solved with crushed silicon

Current smartphone batteries haven’t really changed much since the days of the first Android smartphone even though new, more power hungry, smartphones are being continuously released. Engineer Sibani Lisa Biswal and scientist Madhuri Thakur are aiming to change all this with batteries that can hold three times the charge in the same size as current batteries. Click through the break for more information.

Biswal and Thakur’s solution to our mobile power crisis is a simple one, instead of changing the method of holding the charge, they are simply refining our current lithium-ion cells by replacing the commonly used graphite anodes with crushed silicon. Previously this has been difficult due to silicon’s tendency to expand during the ionization process, but through crushing the silicon, they were able to greatly reduce the amount of space needed for the anode material.

The result is a battery that holds 1000 milliamp-hours per gram, lasts through over 600 charge cycles and uses the same technology as todays current batteries. Our current graphite-anode batteries currently hold a measly 350 milliamp-hours per gram . The secret behind this lies in mathematics. By crushing the silicon they can increase the surface area from .71 meters per gram in solid silicone, to a massive 46 meters per gram. This allows for the anode to act as more of a sponge for the lithium ions, which holds the electrical charge.

There is still a few unknowns like they haven’t tested it in larger scale batteries, nor have they released any figures as to the affordability of them. Still, if they are able to increase the life of these batteries, gone would be our days of trying to squeeze every minute out of our 10 hours of usage time, not to mention we could reduce the size of our batteries significantly, leading to more razor thin smartphones.

Source: Motherboard.Vice

» See more articles by William Metzger


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  • fp

    Impressive indeed. Crossing my fingers….

  • Bryan Haywood

    Guess who is probably trying to buy it so they can say that they invented it… Apple

  • http://twitter.com/homncruse Aaron Burke

    There have been tons of alternative battery technologies researched and developed to at least the prototype stage, but in most cases, it almost always comes down to cost inefficiencies, or manufacturing at scale, or some other problem which prevents it from being widespread.