One-minute phone charge? Yes please

Diagram of new aluminium-ion battery design. Image / Supplied
Diagram of new aluminium-ion battery design. Image / Supplied
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A team of Stanford researchers have developed a phone battery that can fully charge in under a minute.

The battery uses aluminium and graphite technology and is far safer than the current industry standard, lithium-ion, which uses dangerous chemicals and has a high fire risk.

Scientists from Stanford hope the non-flammable aluminium battery will replace existing technologies. They say the ultrafast aluminum batteries are cheap to produce, store a lot of power and are even flexible. However, there are still hurdles for the new tech to overcome.

Voltage capacity is the major issue.

“Our battery produces about half the voltage of a typical lithium battery, but improving the cathode material could eventually increase the voltage and energy density,” says Stanford University Professor Hongjie Dai.

Durability is one of the most promising features of the new batteries. The Stanford prototype was able to be charged more than 7,500 times without any loss of capacity. Lithium-ion typically lasts only 1000 cycles.

“This was the first time an ultra-fast aluminum-ion battery was constructed with stability over thousands of cycles,” adds Dai.

The applications for the battery extend further than small electronics, with the design offering new options for grid storage and even an alternative for electric vehicles.

The new research has been published in Nature.

Hugh Jannings

Hugh Jannings is an aspiring broadcaster and journalist with a strong entrepreneurial spirit. He achieved his goals at the New Zealand Radio Training School.
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