Engineers Boost Batteries
Smartphone manufacturers are going to find it hard to keep meeting the consumer's demand for faster, lighter smartphones with bigger, better displays. Currently, the limiting factor is the battery. Not only do you need a cell that can power all the electronics, manufacturers also need it to meet the criteria and confines of mobile usage.
Engineers at Northwestern University in the United States might have come up with a way to boost battery performance. The lithium-ion battery is ubiquitous in its usage for almost all devices. By drilling miniscule holes, 20 to 40 nanometers wide, in the graphene sheets the batteries are constructed of, the researchers were able to improve performance.
The new lithium-ion batteries can be fully charged in 15 minutes and one charge can last for up to a week. Unfortunately, the battery performance drops considerably after 150 charges. To put that number in perspective, if you put your phone on charge twice a day, you battery would become unusable in less than three months.
Obviously a better battery will greatly increase the user experience for smartphones and notebooks. As it is, we are seeing a widespread adoption of extra battery charging packs so that smartphones can last longer. But the ideal solution would be smartphones that last longer and do not die off so quickly. Hopefully manufacturers take notice of the breakthrough and pursue it so that eventually it can be commercialized and the benefits passed on to the consumer.