The biggest concern of anyone using an electronic gadget is the battery. Believe me, at least in India the most significant question after price when one goes to buy a smartphone or a laptop is about the longevity of the battery.
Currently, a laptop or smartphone battery needs replacement every two or three years. So everyone in the world wants a really long lasting battery. And, it appears, that their wish has just been fulfilled.
Researchers from the University of California, Irvine, have ‘accidentally’ created a battery that can be recharged hundreds of thousands of times.
To put it simply, such a battery can continue for years without the need for a replacement.
They used gold nanowires coated in manganese dioxide. What are nanowires?
The only problem with nanowires is that they broke after prolonged usage. To prevent that researchers enclosed the coated nanowires in Plexiglas-like gel called PMMA.
The coating and the gel prevented the nanowires from snapping despite charging and discharging thousands of times.
A diagram showing the difference between PMMA has on nanowires. While the one of the left appears corroded, the one on the right does not.
Reginald Penner, chair of UCI’s chemistry department, said that one of the researchers, Mya Le Thai, was “playing around” with the battery when she covered it in the gel. “She discovered that just by using this gel, she could cycle it hundreds of thousands of times without losing any capacity,” Penner said.
Mya Le Thai holding the nanowire gel battery. UCI News
In fact, Thai charged and discharged the battery around 200,000 times. That is approximately 30-40 times the maximum usage cycle of a battery. The world can’t wait to have this.