A team of researchers working for the world’s biggest vendor of smartphone devices have found a way to achieve both fast charging abilities and high capacity charging. Joining forces with South Korea’s Seoul National National University, Samsung’s crew found that by wrapping the electrodes with a thin layer of graphene, they were able to offer a battery that is capable of fully charging in only a dozen minutes, with as much as 45 percent more capacity. Needless to say, this research effort could pave the way for faster charging and lighter batteries that can be used not only smartphones and tablet devices, but even in electric vehicles.
Sure, today’s existing lithium ion battery technology are quite capable and all, but they come with some side reactions that can cause the electrodes to wear away, particularly in instances wherein the battery undergoes too quick a charge. Thankfully, researchers have discovered that the wear and tear can be minimized by taking full advantage of nanomaterials such as graphene.
Actually, graphene promises the best of both worlds -- not only does it reduce wear and tear, it also optimizes the level of conductivity. But coating electrodes with graphene is easier said than done -- one has to make sure that the coat is applied evenly, because failure to do so would likely result in some mixed results, i.e. enhanced charging speeds but with lowered charging capacity.
Samsung’s team of researchers, however, have come up with a specific technique to pull it off. What they do is create a popcorn shaped graphene ball that will provide the graphene coating for the nickel rich cathodes as well as the lithium based anodes. By employing this approach, the South Korean tech giant can effectively coat the electrodes uniformly, and at the same time, improve the charging capacity. By both boosting the battery’s conductivity as well as its stability, Samsung’s researchers managed to reach energy densities of close to 800 Wh/l, which is about the same level as those lithium ion batteries utilized by Tesla.
Of course, one of the chief concerns is how to manufacture these next gen batteries for mass consumption. Samsung’s research team, however, is looking to make full use of Nobilta milling in producing the batteries. This way, the manufacturing process would not veer away too significantly as compared to how advanced lithium ion batteries are produced. Nothing is certain yet, but with Samsung’s latest efforts, we are inching closer to a future where our batteries can keep up with our increasingly mobile driven lifestyles.
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