Scientists find way to potentially increase phone battery power by 300pc

31 Jul 2014

Findings on how smartphone battery life could be improved by 300pc could potentially improve the lives of millions of consumers, a study published by Stanford University suggests.

The study has been published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. What the scientists behind the study described as the ‘Holy Grail’ of battery life uses a pure lithium anode, according to Forbes.

This differs from standard phone batteries, lithium ion batteries. Placing lithium ion batteries within the electrolyte means the electrons used to generate the electricity can’t be harvested efficiently.

With the pure lithium anode battery, however, this inefficiency is greatly reduced and will more than likely triple the lifespan of even the most power hungry of phones.

Professor of material science and engineering and leader of the Stanford research team, Yi Cui, believes the technology exists to make this a real game-changer for the technology industry.

“Of all the materials that one might use in an anode, lithium has the greatest potential. Some call it the Holy Grail. It is very lightweight and it has the highest energy density. You get more power per volume and weight, leading to lighter, smaller batteries with more power.”

The only stumbling block is the team’s efficiency levels with the battery, which comes in at 99pc. This is actually slightly short of the mark for commercially viability, as the battery needs to reach an efficiency of 99.9pc.

“With some additional engineering and new electrolytes, we believe we can realise a practical and stable lithium metal anode that could power the next generation of rechargeable batteries,” said Cui.

Low battery image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic