Boffins at Stanford University may have cracked the problem of quick-charge, long-lasting smartphone batteries with a new fully-flexible aluminum cell that can be charged in one minute.
Aluminum batteries are cheap to produce and offer plenty of extra benefits, including much improved safety compared with their lithium brethren which are found in modern smartphones. However, they also tend to die after just a hundred charges or so – at least, until now.
Stanford University professors have discovered a way to make alumium batteries survive around 7,500 full depletions, and combined with a super-fast charge time (a full charge can take as little as one minute), it looks like these new super cells could solve the problem of crappy mobile battery life.
After all, it doesn’t really matter if you phone still dies in a day, if you can just plug it in for a minute or two whenever’s convenient – or simply pair with a portable charger if you’re on the go – and be back up to 100 per cent in no time.
As well as charging quickly and lasting for years, Stanford’s new aluminum battery is also flexible, which means it’s a perfect fit for the inevitable bendy and foldable phones we’ll be seeing in 2015 and 2016 (with LG and Samsung set to lead the pack).
As if that wasn’t enough reasons to back Stanford’s new tech, this aluminum battery is also less volatile than the popular lithium cells. That means it’s less likely to explode or have a funny turn at extreme temperatures and you can even drill right through it without it blowing up in your face or leaking corrosive chemicals all over the place.
Stanford hasn’t mentioned how long one of these aluminum batteries could keep a modern phone powered, but we’ve reached out to them and we’re hoping that the answer is at least a standard working day. Still, if they really can be charged in less time than it takes to make a Pot Noodle, we’re pretty much sold.
Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a fast-charging mobile battery, so the race is on to see which boffins can get their new mobile powering tech into the factories first.