Some scientists have recently invented a system that multiplies the life of a battery to at least 200,000 charge cycles (basically, a lifetime!). The funny thing is that these scientists from the University of California at Irvine have no idea how they managed to do it!
The researchers were initially looking for an alternative to lithium (which liquid state helps conduct the charge), however it can combust due to its sensitivity to temperature. They created a battery that used gold nanowire in electrolyte gel as a substitute for lithium, and discovered that they only lost 5% battery capacity after 200,000 charges!
This new material (Nanowires) has been long thought of as the perfect battery material, as the surface area has the ability to hold a lot of electric charge, however wire usually corrodes in traditional lithium environments after a few thousand cycles.
Doctoral student Mya Le Thai from UCI was the one who discovered that by coating the gold nanowires in a manganese dioxide shell.
“Mya was playing around, and she coated this whole thing with a very thin gel layer and started to cycle it. She discovered that just by using this gel, she could cycle it hundreds of thousands of times without losing any capacity” said one of her fellow participants.
Thai, who was leading this study, tested the product over 200,000 times over the course of three months and discovered that there was no indication of loss of capacity or damage to the nanowires.
So what could this mean for the future of batteries? Well, basically we may soon be able to have a battery on our mobile or PC that has the ability to last a lifetime! Now, wouldn’t that be great?