Could run for 40 percent longer without being charged
A lot of us only think about batteries when we’re cursing out your phone or laptop for its dwindling power, but battery innovations will be key for delivering the dream of the mobile, always-on world. And materials giant 3M has a new battery innovation that could deliver gadgets that could run for 40 percent longer without being charged (or could be significantly smaller with standard battery life).
3M has developed a new kind of battery anode made of silicon that can deliver a significant boost in energy density (amount of energy that can be stored in a given volume) for regular lithium ion batteries that are used in our gadgets. A battery is made up of an anode on one side and a cathode on the other, with an electrolyte in between. For a lithium ion battery, lithium ions travel from the anode to the cathode through the electrolyte, creating a chemical reaction that allows electrons to be harvested along the way.
3M, which has been making battery materials since the 90?s, says its silicon anode is made up of a silicon alloy (silicon with lithium) that enables a 20 percent higher energy density when paired with a standard cathode. However, when the anode is paired with 3M’s own specialized cathode, the silicon anode can deliver a 40 percent improvement in energy density for a battery.
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