Wonderful Engineering

Scientists Figure Out Why Your Battery Becomes Useless Over Time

smartphones surely have their perks but then there is a downside to them as well, lesser battery life. Your best smartphone will only survive a day on a single charge and that too decreases over time. Soon enough, you’ll add charger to the list of items you must have on you all the time. Although a lot of development and research has been done pertaining to this and quite a few improvements have been made, still we lack the understanding as to why the batteries lose their capacity to charge completely. This was the case up till now, because, recently two papers published by US Department of Energy’s scientists have narrowed down to the problem source.

According to these papers; the pattern in which lithium ions travel across the anode present in battery causes irregular degradation of anode’s surface. An analogy; it is similar to how the rust will affect the metal in your car. A material scientist at Brookhaven Lab’s Center for Functional Nano-materials also added that the subsequent irregularities, which are formed on the surface act as breeding grounds for the crusty deposits (rock salt) that will deposit and build up on the surface over time and shall, as an end result, hinder the electron flow and decrease battery’s capacity.

Now that the scientists have pinpointed the issue, the next natural step is to work towards solving it which will, as per the scientists, come in the form of a solution that will resist the crust buildup. Dr. Xin told that right now the team is working on atomic deposition process which will result in a crystallization resistant coating on the anode.

Whether this development will be welcomed by mobile phone industry still remains to be seen. Good thing for these companies; the technology will take a couple of more years before being employed in batteries.