The Lithium-ion batteries that power our laptops and smartphones can be charged up to 90 per cent within minutes if a new battery technology fructifies.
A research team at Colorado State University has come up with the new method of producing battery electrodes with the help of metal foams.
The process has not been commercialised yet, but if and when it does, it may become possible to charge the smartphones within 30 seconds (another source says 12 minutes, which is still faster than usual charging time). These fast charging electrodes are compatible with a wide variety of battery chemistries.
The speed with which a battery charges depends upon the movement of electrons to and from the cathodes, also called negative electrode. The research team has come up with metal foams which are covered with battery materials. The metal foam provides with the necessary conductivity, and the battery active material stores electrical energy in it.
The battery consists of nanowires, which are collected together like hairbrush bristles, with an electrolyte (chargeable) coating which in turn covered with a Lithium cathode.
Although the final product itself is not ready yet, the laboratory samples are good enough to create news. Some doubt the commercial viability of the product because the manufacturing process is complicated enough to drive the costs upward.