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Published on February 22nd, 2014 | by Martha Kent

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The common pomegranate inspires the new generation of smartphone batteries

Today’s gadgets are getting smarter and slimmer every year, but we are still facing the same old problem from 10 years ago: the battery life. If we are lucky, we’ll get 2 or 3 days of battery life per charge out of our smartphones and one single day when it’s used heavily. Since most folks are using their smartphone or their tablet as their primary mean to connect to the Internet or to perform daily digital tasks, we can assume that having a device with a longer battery life is crucial these days.

Scientists all over the world are working really hard to create new batteries that will power our future gadgets. I’ve already introduced the results of the Virginia Tech team that developed a sugar powered battery that could last 10 times more than conventional batteries.

pomegranate_battery_03

Now, scientists at Stanford University in collaboration with National Accelerator Laboratory have created a new type of battery that could be used in future devices like smartphones and tablets. The experiments showed that it has a better life and that it retains the maximum storage capacity even after 1,000 charges. The interesting fact is that this new battery is built using the same internal design found in the common pomegranate. Using the same principle found in the fruit (the seeds are hold together very tight in ring of skin), they managed to cluster together multiple silicon nano-particles and covered them with a carbon rind, thus creating the anode. These structures are actually really small and it’s impossible to see them with the naked eye, but the method is really efficient.

The anode found in the common batteries used these days are created out of graphite, so using a silicon based anode should give them an increase in capacity of up to 10 times. The only problem is the price of the silicon nano-particles, which is far from cheap. So, after this success, the team of scientists are looking for a cheap source of silicon nanoparticles. One solution could be the sheath of a grain of rice, which is not edible but it embodies some silicon dioxide.

image source: geek.com

Tags: science, technology


About the Author

I am the senior editor for SciNotions web magazine. In the past, I have also worked in various projects involving science, music, technology and gadgets.



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