updated 04:50 pm EST, Tue November 11, 2008
Team doubles battery life
A team of South Korean researchers has found a way to make lithium batteries 90 percent more efficient than current batteries. A Tuesday report says an applied chemistry professor at Hanyang University, Cho Jae-phil, leads the team of researchers, and claims that the new technology will allow the batteries in notebook PCs and cellphones to last eight times longer than conventional batteries. The significant capacity boost was made possible thanks to using three-dimensional porous silicon particles made of silica and hydrogen fluoride instead of graphite in the negative electrode.
While scientists already knew about the benefits of the new material, they were faced with the challenge of silicon expanding when put into contact with lithium. The research team reports that it was able to overcome this problem by using porous particles.
The researchers have already applied for four basic technology patents in South Korea, the United States and the European Union. Cho says commercial production of the new, high-capacity batteries could begin as soon as four years. Currently, the team is working on incorporating the technology to work with solar panels.