Most of us know the pain of seeing your screen dim because the battery is about to die when we JUST charged our device. It’s annoying and can get in the way of our plans. We live in the age of technology where our entire world is packed inside a hand-held device, and there’s no shame in the fact that a dead battery can drastically impact our personal and professional lives.
After the lithium-ion battery hit the market, there have not been any major advances in the battery tech. But that’s about to change!
Researchers and scientists worldwide are investing a lot of effort and time to bring in some much-needed innovations. Let’s take a look at five of the upcoming breakthroughs to watch out in the mobile phone battery universe:
Silicon Anode Batteries
Li-ion batteries use graphite anodes to absorb lithium. This prevents the dendrite formation, which is responsible for lowering the capacity of your battery. However, graphite has minimal absorption power. Scientists are now developing batteries with a silicon anode to replace graphite. This should create a ten-fold increase in battery capacity.
Solid-State Li-Ion Batteries
Unlike the current liquid electrolyte, solid-state batteries use a solid ion-conducting material. This lends a lot of advantages compared to a silicon anode or silicon-graphite composite anode.
For example, solid ion-conducting material is non-flammable. Solid-state batteries are also comparatively safer and have a higher energy density at 900 watts per liter.
Soon mobile phones will come equipped with a self-sustaining power source. Scientists have recently made promising success with Triboelectric Nanogenerators, also known as TENGs. TENGs are responsible for converting mechanical energy harvested from friction, air, body movements, etc. into electrical energy. They have already been used in certain settings to power LEDs.
With changes in the design to increase the power output, it may be possible to capture and store the electrical energy. We could then use it to recharge mobile devices and other smart wearables.
The mobile batteries used today have a limited lifespan, as we mentioned at the beginning of this article. Every time a battery is recharged, it loses life. According to some scientists, we can resolve this with nanowire batteries. Nanowires, thinner than a human hair, provide a tremendously large surface area to store and transfer energy.
Their fragility was an issue, though. Thankfully, a team of scientists has discovered that a nanowire made of gold bound with a manganese dioxide shell and surrounded by a Plexiglas type gel electrolyte is quite sturdy. Batteries made this way recorded no degradation even after being charged for over 200,000 times within three months.
A little known Israeli start-up has developed a unique battery that can recharge completely within five minutes. Called “flash” batteries, they make use of biological semiconductors known as “peptides” to recharge quickly. It also enables the battery to retain the charge for a longer duration. The organic compounds are non-flammable.
If all goes well and as planned, most of these technologies will be available in the market by the start of 2021. So, hang tight, soon your battery problems will be a thing of the past! You could enjoy your favorite games or movies without having to worry about finding a charging point for your phone, tablet, or PC.