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Stanford tech offers 10X jump in battery life

updated 04:05 pm EST, Wed December 19, 2007

Stanford Nanowire Battery

A new nanotechnology development should produce a major increase in the power available from lithium-ion battery technology, according to a report from Stanford University. While current batteries are limited to holding a relatively small amount of lithium by the need to use carbon for the anode that supplies the battery's current, the new technique developed by assistant professor Yi Cui instead uses a nest of silicon nanowires to hold the lithium. This allows far more lithium to fit into the battery while avoiding the swelling damage that occurs if larger silicon patterns are used.

The technique should allow as much as a tenfold jump in battery power for a lithium-ion battery with all other factors being equal: a 2-hour notebook battery from today would run for 20 hours and may last an entire cross-ocean flight. This could also apply to iPods and other handheld devices where maximizing the energy from a small battery is important, Cui observes.

By using a combination of two separately mature technologies, the nanowire battery technology should be relatively quick to market, according to the professor. No deals have yet been struck for production, but Cui notes that he has filed for a patent on the technique and intends to either form a company or negotiate with one to translate the battery improvement to shipping products.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Peter Bonte

    Joined: Dec 1969


    more lithium

    Doesn't sound green to me, more concentrated toxic.

  1. ozoner

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Are you kidding??

    This is technology that could finally make electric vehicles practical! Increasing a vehicle's potential range from 100 miles to 1000 miles is incredibly significant - it makes electric vehicles not only AS capable as fossil-fuel cars, but significantly MORE capable.

    If they can make this economically viable, it is huge...

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