Lithium-ion batteries are already close to the 20-hour life promised back in 2007 for laptops, but Lithium-sulphur batteries being worked on at Stanford University may improve battery life by 300 per cent.
It's the same team of researchers that impressed us back in '07 with tales of long-lasting Lithium-ion, but it seems the future is in Lithium-sulphur batteries& - specifically with the recent development of sulphur/mesoporous carbon nanocomposite cathodes mentioned in Nano Letters:
"The recent development of sulfur/mesoporous carbon nanocomposite cathodes represents a particularly exciting advance, but in full battery cells, sulfur-based cathodes have to be paired with metallic lithium anodes as the lithium source, which can result in serious safety issues"
"Here we report a novel lithium metal-free battery consisting of a Li2S/mesoporous carbon composite cathode and a silicon nanowire anode"
"This new battery yields a theoretical specific energy...which is four times that of the theoretical specific energy of existing lithium-ion batteries based on LiCoO2 cathodes and graphite anodes."
Unfortunately for those of us wishing upon a star each night for longer battery life in our gadgets, Stanford University's research is unlikely to be seen in products any time soon, due to its low charge cycles of between 40 - 50, significantly lower than Lithium-ion's 300 - 500. [Nano Letters via Technology Review via Engadget via TechRadar]