New battery technology could mean far higher charge capacity

The new research from Norway could yield impressive results for mobile devices and electric cars

By Becky Cunningham, last updated Jul 16, 2018.


  1. Becky
    Mobile technology has progressed at an impressive rate over the past 10-15 years, but there is one component that doesn't seem to have improved at the same rate; battery technology. Mobile devices are thinner and faster than ever, but batteries have been unable to keep pace. Gone are the days where the latest mobile phone could last for around a week between charges; nowadays you would be lucky if your device lasts for longer than a day.

    So what is the answer to this problem? Researchers at Norway's Department of Energy Technology (Institutt for Energiteknikk, or IFE) think they may have found a solution.

    The new technology uses a silicon alloy in place of graphite in lithium-ion batteries (Li-ion), and the research has shown that it can have three to five times the charge capacity. The problem has been to create a silicon alloy that does not decay over time in the same way as pure silicon, but tests have shown that the new alloy is stable.

    graf_siliconX.png

    According to the press release (via Google Translate), "the breakthrough of IFE is that they have succeeded in making silicon function stable as anode material. This is a result of several years of targeted research and experimental trials with nanoparticles, including silicon, in IFE's laboratories at Kjeller."

    Batteries incorporating this new technology could mean phones that last for days between charges, or electric cars that have a range of around 1000km.