Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are claiming new knowledge for conventional batteries used in mobile phones and laptop computers. They are replacing the usual battery electrodes for a new and improved version of the old thing.
Powerful electrodes of a new design are being produced by the scientists at MIT. By utilizing solutions containing carbon nanotubes with an alternative positive and negative charge they have been able to create a stable coating of film on the electrodes. Carbon nanotubes (aka: “buckytubes”) are an allotrope of a carbon molecule which have cylindrical nanostructures.
Switching the Old for the New
The scientist claim that replacing old conventional electrodes on the batteries with the newly designed carbon nanotubes electrodes will result in an exponential increase of power-to-weight ratio for batteries used in mobile phones and laptop computers. The new and improved batteries will out perform the standard lithium-ion batteries that are so commonly used today. This is possible due to the fact that a more porous electrode contains more groups of oxygen molecules and thus is able to store significantly more lithium ions. Carbon nanotubes are very effective thermal conductors as well.
Ten Times More Powerful than Lithium-ion Batteries
The researchers at MIT have discovered that the output of energy per weight with the new material being used on the electrodes is five times that of conventional capacitors. The performance of these new batteries delivers ten times the amount of total power compared to the lithium-ion batteries. Not only that, but the new Carbon Nanotube batteries maintained stable levels of energy even after being recharged more than a thousand times!
Limited Supply and Demand
The supply of carbon nanotubes currently in production is small and mostly confined to niche-suppliers. There are several companies however, configuring to begin mass production as soon as possible. As the supply and demand features begin to equalize, it can only spell out good news for consumers.
What it Means to Consumers
In the long run this means an awesome increase of performance for wireless technology and mobile communications. And of course this will be accompanied by an increase in costs of items that utilize the new technology. But perhaps that itself will open the doors for even further development of the ever-changing world of batteries. Who can tell what tomorrow might bring!