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Battery breakthrough using crushed silicon could triple the power in our gadgets

Updated Nov 6th, 2012 10:49PM EST
Lithium-ion Battery Life Breakthrough

As nice as razor-thin gadgets with incredibly dense screens are, battery tech hasn’t really evolved much in the last decade. While software optimizations can be made to help manage power consumption on today’s Internet-connected devices, very few smartphones, tablets and computers can go days on end without needing a charge. Early last week, a startup claimed it could double smartphone battery life and now a new breakthrough by researchers at Rice University has announced it’s figured out how to triple lithium-ion battery life using crushed silicon anode.

According to Nature’s Scientific Report (via Motherboard), Rice University engineer Sibani Lisa Biswal and research scientist Madhuri Thakur managed to use crushed silicon to create battery anode that can hold up to 10 times more lithium ions than graphic anodes that are normally used in today’s batteries.

“The result is a new battery design that holds a charge of 1,000 milliamp hours per gram through 600 tested charge cycles of two hours charging, two hours discharging,” writes Motherboard. “According to the team, current graphite anodes can only handle 350 mAh/g.”

A prototype is currently in the works, but don’t expect it to make it into the next iPhone anytime soon. If you need a long-lasting smartphone battery, we would recommend a Droid Razr Maxx HD.

Raymond Wong is a technology reporter with a passion for cutting-edge gadgets and clean design. His writing has appeared on DVICE, Ubergizmo, G4TV, Yahoo News, NBC blogs. You might even have seen his videos on Xbox LIVE.