New Tech Promises Longer-Lasting Batteries

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If there is one thing that is on every smartphone owner's wish list, it's a longer-lasting battery.

SolidEnergy Systems, founded by MIT alum Qichao Hu, may have a solution. The 4-year-old firm developed a rechargeable lithium metal battery, which it claims can double the energy capacity of a regular lithium ion battery found in most modern gadgets.

By swapping graphite—a common battery anode—for SolidEnergy's ultra-thin metal material, the battery produces twice as much energy density, while still operating safely at high temperatures.

"With two times the energy density, we can make a battery half the size, but that still lasts the same amount of time as a lithium ion battery," Hu told MIT News. "Or we can make a battery the same size as a lithium ion battery, but now it will last twice as long."

Plus, the SolidEnergy battery can be manufactured using existing Li-ion infrastructure, making them easier to produce in bulk for a host of devices. The technology will arrive in drones this fall, before rolling out to smartphones and wearables in 2017, and electric cars in 2018.

SolidEnergy Systems did not immediately respond to PCMag's request for comment.

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