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October 08, 2014

Next-Gen Power Cells ‘Will Double or Triple Battery Life’

The next generation of lithium-ion batteries could offer charge times up to three times longer than that of the batteries currently used in mobile phones, according to researchers at Stanford University. In a paper published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, scientists at the institution say they’ve taken a big step toward developing the “Holy Grail” of lithium-ion battery design: a pure lithium anode, which would significantly increase capacity.

The development is exciting not only for smartphone users, but for anyone with an electric car too: the same principle could be used to develop considerably cheaper, more efficient and longer-lasting car batteries. However, the work isn’t yet complete. Stanford’s lithium anode has a Faraday efficiency of 99% after 150 cycles – well ahead of any existing design, but still short of the 99.9% required for commercial applications.

“With some additional engineering and new electrolytes, we believe we can realize a practical and stable lithium metal anode that could power the next generation of rechargeable batteries,” said research leader Professor Yi Cui, the man behind a number of recent breakthroughs in battery technology.