They’ve done it again: The battery barons of Stanford, led by Yi Cui, have created what those in the industry call the “Holy Grail” of lithium-ion battery design.
In specific, they’ve finally worked out how to create a rugged lithium electrode that can increase the capacity of a lithium-ion battery by three to four times – as in, this lithium electrode, on its own, could increase the battery life of your smartphone by three times, or significantly reduce the size and cost of an electric car’s battery pack.
A lithium-ion battery’s capacity is mostly dictated by how many lithium ions can be sucked up into the anode during charging.
Now, a team at Stanford university, led by Yi Cui – the mastermind behind a huge number of battery breakthroughs that we’ve written about on ExtremeTech – have found a way of creating lithium anodes that keep their capacity over 150 charge/discharge cycles and don’t explode.
Similar to other recent battery breakthroughs, nanotech is the key to Stanford’s new lithium electrode. To prevent these cracks and dendrites from forming, Stanford deposits a layer of carbon nanospheres on the surface of the lithium anode.
In real-world terms, this new lithium anode could triple or quadruple the battery life of your smartphone or electric vehicle – or make it so you can get away with a much smaller battery.