"We have found a way to extend a new lithium-ion battery's charge life by 10 times," said Harold H Kung, a member of the research team and the lead author of the research paper.
"Even after 150 charges, which would be one year or more of operation, the battery will be five times more effective than lithium-ion batteries available in the market today," Kung added.
Actually, there are numerous graphene layers in Li-ion batteries, which are filled by Lithium ions. So when users charge these batteries, atoms move towards the edge of the sheet to make room for more ions. The speed of recharging becomes less if these ions cannot quickly go from layer to layer.
The same technique was adopted by the Northwestern University researchers. They populated the area between two graphene sheets in Li-ion battery with Silicon nanoclusters. In this manner, the number of ions that can live in the battery increases greatly as a result, the charge capacity is improved greatly.
The research lab took the process one step further by making perforations in the graphene sheets, which made sure the ions found a shortcut to the next layer much more easily.
The researchers say the technology may make its way to the market within three to five years.