Lithium Ion Batteries that can last a Lifetime

nano wires lithium ion battery

We use batteries for everything, from cell phones to iPads to toothbrushes. It seems that scientists are one step closer to creating lithium ion batteries that last a lifetime. In this article from Computer world, Researchers at the University of California at Irvine were playing around with lithium batteries seeing how they could extend the life of the batteries. I mean who wouldn’t want their phone battery to be able to last a lifetime?

Simply stated the battery in your cellphone is made of nano wires that are thinner than a human piece of hair. After every charge these nano wires become brittle and break. The result of this is that your battery can only last a few years and your going to need a new.

University of California doctoral student Mya Le Thai found a way around this. By using a thick gel, “as thick as peanut butter”, she covered the nano wires in a lithium ion battery in the protective rubber. Usually batteries only last 5,000 cycles then deteriorate, but this one went to 10,000 and few days later 30,000.

Theoretically you could create a batter that could last 100,000 cycles by coating the nano wires that hold a charge in a protective shell of gel. This would mean that you could get one battery that you could recharge again and again for the rest of your life.

Authors Take

This is an amazing discovery. The key will be if they will start implementing this into batteries. Can you imagine an iPhone that you could charge the rest of your life? (Pending other hardware failure). I hope they implement this technology. This is important on so many levels. Even for space flight you could have batteries that would never breakdown. Again theoretically you could travel forever if you have a transmitter capable of reaching earth. The possibilities are endless. 




Image: University of California doctoral student Mya Le Thai holds a nanowire device that has the potential to enable hundreds of thousands of recharges in a lithium-ion battery. Credit: Steve Zylius/UCI