Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Discovery Leads to Fast-Charging Battery

Nearly every smartphone user has a story of how their device died at the most inopportune time. That problem may be eliminated now that researchers at Stanford University discovered a way to charge batteries faster and have them last longer.

Experimenting with graphite as a cathode, researchers found that aluminum-ion prototypes were able to charge a smartphone battery 60 times faster than a lithium-ion battery. The aluminum-ion concept was also able to recharge 7,500 times, is flexible, and can be safely drilled without causing a fire.

“There is a woefully short amount of cycles to go through with lithium-ion batteries,” Kevin Krewell, principal analyst for Tirias Research, said in an article for TechWorldNews. “To extend that would allow phones to last longer. You wouldn’t have to worry about having to have your phone repaired if the battery wears out and you have an iPhone or the latest Samsung handset.”

But the Stanford research is just a beginning. The new technology must also show that it can be produced on a scale to meet the demands of the electronics industry.

"In these types of research programs, much of the research is done on very small cell sizes,” said Eric Lind, sales manager for Varta Microbattery. “The results are then extrapolated to a commercial cell. However, generally, the scale-up does not typically correlate linearly with what is found in the lab.”

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