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New breakthrough could lead to huge battery improvements

Updated Jul 9th, 2014 4:04PM EDT
Smartphone Battery Life

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A research team at the University of Alberta may have made a breakthrough that ultimately leads to dramatic improvements in the batteries that power everything from laptops and smartphones to medical devices and tools. According to lead researcher Xinwei Cui, the lithium-ion battery technology his team is currently developing charges faster, lasts longer and outputs more power than current lithium-ion batteries.

SEE ALSO: How to get as much battery life as possible on your iPhone or Android phone

“What we’ve done is develop a new electrochemistry technology that can provide high energy density and high power density for the next generation,” Cui told Beacon News in a recent interview. He continued, “We tried lots of different materials. Normally carbon is used as the anode in lithium-ion batteries, but we used carbon as the cathode, and this is used to build a battery with induced fluorination.”

The scientist explained in a recently published paper that carbon cathodes are inexpensive and safe to use, and the energy output of Cui’s team’s batteries is between five and eight times higher than lithium-ion batteries currently on the market. The tech is also delivering better results than several other next-generation battery technologies currently in development, as Beacon News noted.

“Nobody knew that carbon could be used as a cathode with such a high performance. That is what’s unique with our technology and what is detailed in our paper,” Cui said.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

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