Wednesday, 27 April 2016

golden thread

My Modern Met reports on the accidental technique that could make rugged batteries last hundreds of times longer by retaining the ability to hold a charge and not degrade so quickly, which I think has been a significant prompt for people to otherwise needlessly upgrade their quiver of gadgets.
The lithium-ion batteries that power most electronic devices are liable to wear out after a few hundred cycles due to the build-up of dendrites on the anode cell that eventually kills battery-life. Researchers have known about nanoscopic configurations for galvanic cells since at least 2007 and the potential to extend useful life exponentially (better charging-times as well), but outside of the laboratory (and a lot brilliant engineers are attacking the problem of optimal energy storage from all angles), the nanowires always proved too brittle for commercial use. Recently, a team lead at the University of California, Irvine discovered accidentally found out that slathering the delicate wires with gel made them more malleable without compromising capacity.