New Material Could Increase Smartphone Battery Life by Over 300%

Chuanfang (John) Zhang, Valeria Nicolosi, and Sang-Hoon Park. Credit: Naoise Culhane

Have you ever wished you could increase your cellphone battery life? Well, that technology may very well already be here.

Researchers from AMBER, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Advanced Materials and BioEngineering, at Trinity College Dublin, have announced the development of a new material which offers the potential to improve battery life in everyday electronics, like smartphones, according to Irish Tech News.

The discovery could mean that the average phone battery life, roughly 10 hours of talk time, could increase to 30-40 hours.

MXenes, an ink-based nanomaterial, not only significantly improves battery life, but it also offers its batteries the flexibility to become smaller in size, without losing performance.

AMBER’s approach allows the battery to be both conductive and able to withstand hundreds of charging cycles by using 2D nanosheets. Not only are the materials excellent electrical conductors, but they’re also remarkable in their mechanical properties.

Existing rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries—found commonly in portable electronics like our laptops, tablets or smartphones—rely on internal chemical reactions to store and emit energy. This means that by decreasing the battery size, it allows for less space for these chemical reactions to take place.

“Despite progress in batteries development, there has been limited success in extending lifetime and improving their energy storage capabilities. A lot of it has to do with the need to look outside of box for solutions – specifically at new materials capable of surpassing the conventional technologies,” said Valeria Nicolosi, AMBER lead Investigator on the project and professor of nanomaterials & advanced microscopy at Trinity College Dublin.

Read the full article for more.

The discovery of MXenes much needed, as smartphone battery life continues to get worse.

Phone makers have claimed to have tackled this battle by including more-efficient processors, low-power modes, and artificial intelligence to manage app drain, but it’s no secret to the battery industry that the lithium-ion batteries in smartphones have hit a plateau.

According to Nadim Maluf, CEO of a firm that optimizes batteries called Qnovos, batteries improve at a very slow pace, about 5 percent per year.

“But phone power consumption is growing faster than 5 percent,” says Maluf, with additions like high-resolution screens, more complicated apps, and increased user time.

Scientists and engineers in the battery field continue to work hard to push lithium-ion batteries limits. In doing so, it’s important to look back at the history of batteries, as the invention and commercialization of lithium-ion batteries was no easy feat.

George E. Blomgren, the author of “The Development and Future of Lithium Ion Batteries,” one of the most-downloaded Journal of The Electrochemical Society papers since April 2017, discusses this in his paper.

Blomgren says the fact that Li-ion batteries success was not guaranteed by any means is a lessons researchers can apply today as they work to improve them.

As researchers continue to push the boundaries of batteries, events like the 235th ECS Meeting offer an excellent space for researchers around the world to come together and share their latest scientific and technical developments in electrochemistry and solid state science and technology. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear scientist’s latest work in the battery and energy storage field. Join us!


All content provided in the ECS blog is for informational purposes only. The opinions and interests expressed here do not necessarily represent ECS's positions or views. ECS makes no representation or warranties about this blog or the accuracy or reliability of the blog. In addition, a link to an outside blog or website does not mean that ECS endorses that blog or website or has responsibility for its content or use.