Breakthroughs in battery technology are becoming increasingly common these days, a manifestation of years of multi-billion dollar R&D investments focused on advanced materials science in hot pursuit of a compact, renewable energy sources by the world’s automobile and electronics makers.
The latest advance is a battery that charges in seconds and holds a charge for a week, a University of Central Florida development that could one day replace lithium-ion batteries. The battery is highly flexible and measures a fraction of the size of a lithium-ion battery.
The breakthrough design, below, employs millions of highly conductive nanowires coated with tungsten trioxide (WO3) and tungsten disulfide (WS2).
University of Central Florida researchers have developed a radical supercapacitor design that could one day replace lithium-ion batteries, allowing users to charge a mobile phone in a few seconds and with a charge that lasts a week, according to the researchers. The battery would be flexible and a fraction of the size of a lithium-ion battery.
The proof-of-concept design is based on a hybrid supercapacitor composed of a core with millions of highly conductive nanowires coated with shells of two-dimensional materials. It combines fast charging and discharging (high power density) and high storage capacity (high energy density).
Another advantage would be 'cyclic stability' (how many times a battery can be charged, drained and recharged before beginning to degrade). A lithium-ion battery can be recharged fewer than 1,500 times without significant failure, compared to recently developed supercapacitors based on two-dimensional materials, which can be recharged more than 30,000 times.
Electric vehicles could also benefit from longer-range operation and sudden bursts of power and speed. The flexible material could mean a significant advancement in wearable tech, according to the researchers, and would also avoid the risk of overheating and explosion with lithium-ion batteries.