As smartphones evolve and become ever more powerful and functional, their thirst for battery power increases just as much if not more. As such, the race is heating up to see who can offer users better battery life, within a smaller, thinner and lighter device. Roughly a week ago, reports emerged that researchers in Korea were working on this exact problem. Their solution was looking to create a thinner, more flexible and linear arranged Lithium-ion battery. The benefit of this linear approach was that the components inside were not stacked on top of each other. This linear design meant batteries could be thinner and lighter without compromising battery life. However, their solution might not necessarily improve battery life. That said, a startup dubbed SolidEnergy, who emerged from MIT, are working on this problem and intend to offer a real viable option sooner than you might think.
SolidEnergy claims to be able to offer as much battery capacity as any of the leading smartphone manufacturers currently offer, but in a battery half the size of what the manufacturers currently use. Another way to look at this is that they claim they can offer twice the capacity, in a battery of the same size as what is currently in use, by the likes of Samsung and Xiaomi.
One of the ways in which they claim to be able to offer this increased battery capacity (or smaller batteries) is through the use of an "anode-less" design. By removing the anodes, SolidEnergy suggests filling the space with extra battery power is the answer. The anodes (which are typically graphite in material) are replaced with an "ultra-thin sheet of lithium+copper metal foil". Polymer coating is then added to reinforce the foil. Adding to this, the new design utilizes both solid and liquid electrolytes. The solid electrolyte coupled with the thin metal foil means ions can travel over a lesser space, negating the fact that they are 'slow travellers' to begin with. SolidEnergy also claim, the new batteries can currently offer 100 recharge cycles while retaining roughly 80% of its overall energy storage capacity. In addition, to this, SolidEngery plan to expand on the recharge cycles by looking to achieve up to 300 cycles in the future, which is more in line with what is needed for smartphones and similar devices. If you want to know more you can click the source link below to read the article in full or check out the video.