Samsung has developed a method that could nearly double the capacity of lithium-ion batteries, those found in current smartphone models. The technology involves adding a silicon material to the traditional lithium-ion layer that would increase the energy density and longevity of the battery.
The trick is taking advantage of a silicon coating that supports graphene (pure carbon) growth on top of the battery’s silicon nanoparticles but does not cause a silicon carbide formation that would disrupt the energy transfer. In research testing, this format increased energy densities from 1.5 to 1.8 times higher than current levels. The results were published online in Nature last week.
The research was led by In Hyuk Son and Jong Hwan Park, members of Samsung’s Advanced Institute of Technology and Energy Material Lab in Korea, who collaborated with other associated, Korean researchers of materials science. Samsung is currently in the process of patenting the technology, the research paper said.
Battery technology has long been one of the banes of smartphone technology. While camera functions, processing speeds and storage space have significantly improved over the years, smartphone battery life has fallen behind as sleeker, more powerful devices are pushed. This graph details the small progresses in battery technology over the years:
That isn’t to say researchers, both those affiliated with smartphone manufacturers and those in materials science labs across the world, have not studied the subject and made breakthrough discoveries. In October 2014, a team of scientists at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore discovered a way to supercharge a battery from dead to 70 percent in less than 2 minutes, according to a press release. The researchers replaced the graphite found in a traditional lithium-ion battery with titanium dioxide.
As 9to5Google notes, Samsung’s new system could be used to make the phone slimmer or the battery power last longer. Regardless of what role the research ultimately fulfills, the technology will take time to enter the consumer market as more tests are needed. Consumers should not expect the see the technology implemented in upcoming Samsung smartphone models.