Smartphones can now be charged in one minute with the safe and ultra-fast charging aluminum battery developed by scientists at Stanford University. The invention, dubbed as the Stanford battery, is also flexible that it can be bended and folded to fit different electronic devices. The battery is also said to be able to store renewable energy on the electrical grid and is proven to be safer and cheaper than lithium-ion batteries, which can be fire hazards.
Fast-charging, bendable, long-lasting and inexpensive
“We have developed a rechargeable aluminum battery that may replace existing storage devices, such as alkaline batteries, which are bad for the environment, and lithium-ion batteries, which occasionally burst into flames,” said Hongjie Dai, a professor of chemistry at Stanford University and lead author of the study.
Stanford scientists have said that during testing, the battery recorded “unprecedented charging times of down to one minute.”
Also, they designed the battery to be flexible and able to fit into different electronic devices.
“Another feature of the aluminum battery is flexibility. You can bend it and fold it, so it has the potential for use in flexible electronic devices,” co-lead scientists Ming Gong said.
The Stanford research is titled “An ultrafast rechargeable aluminum-ion battery,” and is published in the journal Nature.
Stanford aluminum-ion battery vs Lithium-ion battery
According to Dai, his team of scientists accidentally discovered that using graphite for the battery’s cathode will give the battery a more desirable performance. Co-lead author of the research, Ming Gong, added that the battery is safe because its electrolyte is made up of salt liquefied at room temperature. The scientists said that this has made the aluminum batteries far better than the lithium-ion batteries widely used in laptops and mobile phones today.
“In our study, we have videos showing that you can drill through the aluminum battery pouch, and it will continue working for a while longer without catching fire. But lithium batteries can go off in an unpredictable manner – in the air, the car or in your pocket. Besides safety, we have achieved major breakthroughs in aluminum battery performance,” Dai said.
The study also found that the Stanford aluminum-ion battery is more durable than lithium ones. It was able to withstand more than 7,500 cycles without any loss of capacity, Dai said. By comparison, a typical lithium-ion battery lasts about 1,000 cycles.
“Aluminum is also a cheaper metal than lithium,” Gong added.
According to Stanford News, other co-lead authors of the study affiliated with Stanford are visiting scientists Mengchang Lin from the Taiwan Industrial Technology Research Institute, Bingan Lu from Hunan University, and postdoctoral scholar Yingpeng Wu.
Other authors are Di-Yan Wang, Mingyun Guan, Michael Angell, Changxin Chen and Jiang Yang from Stanford; and, finally, Bing-Joe Hwang from National Taiwan University of Science and Technology.
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