What’s the number one complaint of smartphone users? Weak batteries. Sure, smartphones are great, but these mini computers aren’t so hot when it comes to battery life. If you have a smartphone, chances are you have to plug that phone in every day (or at least every other day) in order to keep your phone juiced. Well, researchers at Northwestern University may have put an end to smartphone battery woes.
Seemingly, engineers are Northwestern have developed a lithium ion battery that lasts longer than any other.
How much longer? The Northwestern engineers claim that the battery lasts up to ten times longer than regular lithium ion batteries. This means that your smartphone may soon get a battery upgrade – one that you’ll find quite useful.
Apparently, the Northwestern engineering team was able to replace some of the material inside of the current standard lithium ion battery. This material replacement has resulted in a stronger battery that will have all smartphone users across the world rejoicing.
Wait, It’s Not Done Yet
When most people think of lithium ion batteries, smartphones and tablets come to mind. However, there are other devices that use lithium ion batteries including electric cars. The main reason why you don’t see a lot of electric cars on the road has to do with battery life (imagine facing a car that shuts down mid-traffic due to poor battery life). Keeping these cars in mind, the engineer team at Northwestern is not quite done improving the lithium ion battery.
First the team fixed one part of the battery called the anode.
Now, the team is focusing on the cathode. What’s so important about this part of the battery? Electric cars do not shut down once the battery becomes overheated, which, obviously, can cause a fire hazard. Replacing the material inside of the cathode will allow a car’s battery to shut down if it becomes too hot. Once this cathode problem has been worked out, electric cars will become significantly safer – a good thing for electric car manufacturers and a great thing for the environment.
Back to smartphones – when will the new lithium ion batteries be available for use by smartphone manufacturers? Well, the team has to figure out that aforementioned cathode problem first. Once that’s done, the batteries will be ready to send out into the world. There’s no real telling when the cathode problem will be fixed (Northwestern engineers have to figure out what the problem is first, and these experiments could take some time).
However, the engineering team has suggested that the new batteries may hit market shelves within the next five years. Five years sounds like a long time, but this improvement to the life of the lithium ion battery will be well worth the wait.
Just think, soon you will not need to charge your smartphone every time you use it. It’s safe to assume that many smartphone manufacturers will be snatching up these batteries when they are ready to purchase. For now, you’ll just have to keep charging your phone and dreaming of better battery days.