Researchers from the University of Tokyo in cooperation with the University of Kyoto and Japan’s National Institute for Materials Science are studying a new technology that would significantly improve charging times for Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, which could then be applied to various products including electric vehicles as well as smartphones and tablets.
Specifically, the researchers are exploring a new electrolyte that could be used in future Li-ion batteries. The substance apparently “exhibits both very high reactivity and degradation resistance,” VR-Zone writes, “both properties that could potentially boost the overall performance of current Li-ion batteries.”
The new substance would be four times more concentrated than solvents used in current Li-ion batteries, but more reactive. Such batteries would be able to charge faster and provide more electric power. The research apparently shows that charging times have been reduced to only a third of the regular time it takes to charge a battery using current electrolytes, while cell voltage has been increased from 3V to 5V.
The researchers are more focused on improving battery-charging times for electric cars, but such a technology may very well be used in mobile devices. Smartphone and tablet makers are constantly trying to improve battery charging times and battery efficiency in order to keep up with more and more demanding hardware.
Samsung and HTC have both introduced special battery saving modes for their 2014 flagship devices, with the HTC One (M8) also featuring a fast-charging technology. Similarly, Oppo revealed that the Find 7’s battery can get from 0% to 75% in less than an hour. LG has found a way to increase battery size by taking advantage of more unused space inside a mobile device. Meanwhile, Apple has an interesting patent which describes means of actively monitoring device usage in order to optimize battery life to suit the user’s daily needs.