Battery life has always been one area where smartphones have yet to make a significant breakthrough. All major tech companies are involved in the research and development of a better battery tech than existing lithium ion batteries and it looks like the Korean giant, Samsung has made a break through. In the Nature Journal, the company’s battery division reports that it has finally able to double the battery life of existing batteries through some innovative changes in design.
It has become a usual tradition for smartphone owners to keep their phones for charge every day. Sometimes, users have to charge it multiple times in one day. But this new tech promises to solve this problem by increasing the battery capacity of the existing batteries. Samsung researchers have reportedly managed to create a battery tech which doubles the capacity density of the battery.
Usually, lithium ion batteries come with graphite as anode inside. While graphite is quite stable and long lasting, it’s unable to meet the energy demands of the current generation. As a result, Samsung researchers replaced the traditional graphite with silicon anodes. Silicon proves as a very good replacement since it can hold much higher capacity of energy as compared to graphite.
This is not the first time someone has tried to use silicon inside lithium ion batteries to increase capacity. But silicon comes with its own set of problems, the most significant being the tendency to expand as much as 400 percent when fully charged. While it goes back to normal when discharged, it makes it possible for such batteries to be used in compact devices such as smartphones. However, to solve this issue, Samsung researchers have coated the silicon anodes with graphene which prevents such expansion.
“The graphene layers anchored onto the silicon surface accommodate the volume expansion of silicon via a sliding process between adjacent graphene layers,” says Samsung’s report. “When paired with a commercial lithium cobalt oxide cathode, the silicon carbide-free graphene coating allows the full cell to reach volumetric energy densities of 972 and 700 Wh l−1 at first and 200th cycle, respectively, 1.8 and 1.5 times higher than those of current commercial lithium-ion batteries.”
This tech is currently waiting for patent approval in a number of regions such as Europe, China, Korea and US. The company claims that it will most likely end up on commercial products such as its new age smartphones in the next three years.
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