We are constantly trying to get the best out of our smartphone’s battery. Did you ever think your phone’s display could prove useful in extending the battery life of your smartphone? Well, a new glass material developed by researchers will allow your battery last for double the amount of time they used to with normal lithium-ion batteries.
A team of ETH Zurich researchers led by Dr. Semih Afyon and Reinhard Nesper invented a Vanadae-borate glass that when embedded in the phone, will act as an electrode in lithium-ion batteries. An electrode is a conductor that transfers electric current from one substance to another. The material used in the formation of the glass are the chemical components- vanadium oxide (V2O5) and lithium-borate (LiBO2) precursors. These chemicals are later covered with a coating of reduced graphite oxide (RGO). The coating is done to increase the electrode properties of the material.
The basic idea behind the project was to find a material which could both store battery capacity effectively and take a frequent number of charge cycles, while staying stable enough to be viable for use in modern-day electronics. Apparently it is cheap to make too.
Dr. Afyon said, “What we need is new chemistry and novel compounds to obtain safe, better and longer lasting batteries.” He also said that the vanadate-boarate glass compound his team has developed could extend smartphone battery life by 1.5 to 2 times and allow electric cars to travel 1.5 times further. These numbers are theoretically based for now. The technology has numerous uses including making better batteries for electric cars, boats and bikes. Another purpose the vanadate-borate glass could potentially be used for is wind farms and solar powered plants that need to store generated electricity effectively for when it’s required. It might take 10 to 20 years before we see this technology actually appear in a device. Fingers crossed till that time!