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5 mobile phone battery breakthroughs to watch
Who doesn’t want mobile phone batteries that last longer? These five developments hold promise for personal productivity and enterprise mobile strategy
4. Durable nanowire batteries
One of the most stubborn issues related to mobile phone batteries is the degradation that occurs each time they are recharged. Most batteries last for about 500 to 700 recharges (or anywhere from 300 to 1000, depending upon whom you ask) – and then it’s time to either replace the battery or upgrade to a new device. Scientists at the University of California Irvine (UCI) think a solution may exist in the form of nanowire batteries.
Researchers have been working on batteries that incorporate nanowires – highly conductive filaments thousands of times thinner than a human hair, which boast a huge surface area for storing and transferring energy – for several years, to increase the surface area of electrodes and also address the combustibility issue of traditional Li-ion batteries. However, nanowires themselves are quite fragile and would crack after cycles of repeated discharging and recharging.
The UCI team found that a gold nanowire encased in a manganese dioxide shell and covered by a Plexiglas-like gel electrolyte was much more robust; their coated batteries showed no degradation at all after being recharged more than 200,000 times over three months.
5. Organic "flash" batteries
Both BP and Daimler have invested millions in an Israeli startup that says its unique “flash” battery and charger technology can get a mobile phone – or an electric vehicle – to 100 percent – in five minutes or less. The secret ingredient? Peptides.
Incubated in the nanotechnology department at Tel Aviv University, StoreDot’s Li-ion battery technology uses biological semiconductors to not only charge quickly but also hold the charge longer (up to a day, according to the company). The organic compounds are non-flammable and a multi-layer protection structure prevents overheating. StoreDot says its battery-charger combo, which will work with any current smartphone, will be available in 2019.
[ Why do containers rewrite the rules for enterprise mobile apps? Read our related article, Why mobile and containers are better together. ]