Researchers have created a new type of battery than could charge a smartphone to full in one minute.
Chemistry scientists at Stanford University hope their aluminium cell will one day replace the lithium ion batteries currently used in mobile technology.
They described the new technology as offering ‘unprecedented charging times’, although the battery is only a prototype right now.
According to the researchers, the aluminium battery is safer than lithium ion alternatives because it’s less prone to combustion, as well as being more environmentally friendly.
The team’s findings were published in the Nature journal, where Stanford chemistry professor Hongjie Dai explained how the new technology is a huge breakthrough for battery development.
“We have developed a rechargeable aluminium 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,” explained Dai.
“Our new battery won’t catch fire even if you drill through it,” he added.
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The professor continued: “Millions of consumers use 1.5-volt AA and AAA batteries. Our rechargeable aluminium battery generates about two volts of electricity. That’s higher than anyone has achieved with aluminium.”
What’s more, the battery is allegedly more durable than existing rivals, and is capable of withstanding upwards of 7,500 charge cycles without loss of capacity. Lithium ion batteries, by contrast, manage around 1,000 cycles before depreciating.
Battery life is currently a sticking point for most mobile device manufacturers, especially within the burgeoning wearables industry.
A one-minute charge time could ease battery life woes however, as consumers would be able to charge devices so quickly that it wouldn’t matter how long the battery life was, at least within reason.