Cell phone batteries are, at best, problematic: just ask anybody who bought an iPhone 4S and discovered it sucked power like a Decepticon on a bender. Fortunately, wherever there’s a first world problem, there’s a lot of money to solve it. Science to the rescue!
Northwestern University researchers have redesigned the lithium-ion battery, which powers just about everything you own, with silicon. The problem with a pure silicon battery is that silicon is fragile and cracks easily, meaning the battery is useless if you drop it or even overcharge it. So instead of that, they used layers of silicon and everybody’s favorite carbon allotrope, graphene. They punched tiny holes in the graphene to allow more flow from the silicon, which can hold more lithium atoms, and suddenly, you had a battery that charged lightning fast.
The team estimates this design will be on the market between 2014 and 2017. We can’t wait: we’ve got quad-core tablets that need powering.
[ via the traffickers of the graphene at Wired ]