They say this new kind of super-battery isn't safe yet. But we don't care. We'll sign the disclaimer. If we can have more capacity in a smaller space AND it recharges quicker, we can live with the small risk of fire and burns.
The latest, long awaited development in battery tech comes from a team at the University of Illinois, which is using something it describes as "3D electrodes" to creates massed ranks of smaller, higher capacity micro-batteries.
The smaller battery tech features electrodes with "intertwined fingers that reach into each other" according to team leader Professor William King. "That does a couple of things. It allows us to make the battery have a very high surface area even though the overall battery volume is extremely small. And it gets the two halves of the battery very close together so the ions and electrons do not have far to flow."
It's not yet ready for mass production, but the process of using a polystyrene lattice to build a metal scaffolding to hold the anode and cathode materials is currently being used to produce test cells at a slow rate. If scaled up as promised, the result could be batteries ten times smaller that offer the same performance, or, what we'd really prefer, a battery the same size as today's units that lasts 10 times longer and fully charges in minutes. [BBC]
Image credit: Old batteries from Shutterstock