News: Nanotech may improve battery life 10x

This isn’t hot news, but it is news, finding its way to my mailbox today.  Alex Serpo at CNET reports here on MSN Tech & Gadgets that Stanford assistant professor Yi Cui found a tenfold Improvement in battery life…

“Stanford University researchers have made a discovery that could signal the arrival of laptop batteries that last more than a day on a single charge.”

As noted on in this article on electronista (my new, favourite blog), this new technique is based on a jumble of lithium nestled in silicon nanowires. According to the post…

“this allows far more lithium to fit into the battery while avoiding the swelling damage that occurs if larger silicon patterns are used.”

Perhaps this could help notebooks such as the MacBook Air get more than three hours of life from a single battery.  This is why I travel with a second battery when I fly, and carry an iGo charger with an airline seat adapter when I leave the state. 

I can’t tell you the number of times that my laptop lost power mid-flight on even cross-country trips when I was relegated to one or two batteries.  And poor battery performance has been noted as a top consumer complaint when it comes to battery-powered gadgets.  I certainly appreciated the concept of being able to use two batteries connected to a single system, and welcomed the arrival of airline-accessible power.  Coupled with increasingly more power-efficient devices, this innovation — if it proves to be commercially viable — would certainly be a welcomed improvement over today’s batteries.

You can find the original report here on the Stanford News Service site.

Tags: technology, Stanford, battery, Yi Cui, innovation.

2 replies on “News: Nanotech may improve battery life 10x”

Forget batteries, the real future is capacitors. If you search for "nanotech capacitor" you’ll find there is a lot of work in this area. What’s nice is the virtual instant charging which makes it practical for everything from laptops to electric cars. Fewer nasty chemicals, so they are better for the enviroment too.

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