It’s a known fact that batteries for your smartphone, tablet and other devices will eventually lose their power over time – especially if you over-charge them. But what if there was a battery that never lost its charge?
Recently, a study team at the University of California at Irvine created a battery without lithium, which is the component of common batteries that causes power loss over months and years. Instead of lithium, the team used gold nanowire in electrolyte gel as a replacement. The battery was put through over 200,000 charging periods, and battery loss remained at less than 5%. The only catch? The researchers aren’t sure how they did it.
The intention of this research was to find a comparable material to lithium, which is heat and cold sensitive and prone to combustion. They utilized nanowire, which has been called the “dream battery” component due to its surface area having the ability to hold plenty of electricity. Unfortunately, wire tends to disintegrate in the presence of lithium, so it was thought to be impossible, at least for the time being.
During their study, the research team learned that corrosion could be avoided with a blend of different materials. They also learned that lithium could be substituted with electrolyte gel. This creates a protective area around that “dream battery” material, the nanowire, and creates a battery that is essentially invincible.
This accidental test battery is able to withstand hundreds of thousands of charging cycles over many months without any disintegration. So the next time you lose the phone charger in your car, keep in mind there may be a solution coming sooner than you think.