The one problem with gadgets is power. Even if batteries start off long-lasting, after 12 months they start to struggle. But a new material might change that.
A team of researchers from Stanford have developed a new battery electrode that can survive 40,000 charge cycles. That’s about a hundred times more than a normal lithium-ion battery, and enough to make it usable for somewhere between 10-30 years.
So how does it work? It’s down to what it’s made from: copper hexacyanoferrate. The structure of the material lets charge-carrying ions move in and out of the electrode easily, and it’s extremely rugged, so it degrades at a much slower rate than li-ion batteries. That all means it can charge and discharge rapidly, and it lasts for ages. Great!
One tiny snag, however. A high-voltage cathode needs a very low-voltage anode. And, err, they haven’t managed to make that part yet, so currently it’s not possible to make a sealed unit that would be suitable for commercial use. Still, that’s next on the list for the team. Hurry up, guys. [Nature Communications via eWeek Europe via Slashdot]