Electronic memes for 2009-08-24

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Game changer.

Virtually every electronic device around has one of these and the technology hasn’t changed substantially in decades.


From your cell phone, to your tv remote, your car to your laptop, they all have batteries. One of the more common types now seen is the lithium ion battery. It works by moving lithium ions around between an anode and a cathode. This is the same process that every other battery follows. Depending on how many ions your anode can store, you can store more charge in the battery.

Now what if you could increase the capacity of your anode by 1000%. Your laptop would could run for 10 hours on a single charge, your iphone could keep going for 8 or 9 days instead of 1, your electric car could have ten times the range all on a single charge.

psa Researchers in South Korea have made this a reality. Li-ion batteries with 1000% increase in storage! Their system works by increasing the surface area of the anode by making it extremely porous. Like a sponge holds water, the anode can hold exceptionally more lithium ions allowing for a much more substantial stored charge.

Consider the possibilities this holds for nanotechnology. Right now scientists are constructing tiny devices but the restricting factor is the battery, it can’t hold a charge for the tiny device to function for any length of time. This increase could allow a 5 minute charge to last hours or to provide the power to become far more effective. Wireless sensor networks restrict broadcast functions as much as possible because they are cost expensive. This would allow those nets to function much more effectively.

That is just one application. Now that they know this can be done, the race will be on to make even more capable anodes, we could be on the virge of a battery revolution, something that has been a long time coming.