Scientists at the University of California at Irvine were working on a solution to replace lithium with a safer option.
The technology is based on gold nanowires, which can support more than 200,000 load cycles.
The problem is that the material is very expensive and that is why they are now working on a cheaper alternative that can be marketed.
The University of California at Irvine has discovered a battery that lasts 400 times longer than current batteries. And they have done it because of an accident.
They were working to find an alternative to current lithium batteries. The idea was to find a safer option, since lithium batteries are flammable and very sensitive to temperature.
They started working with gold nanowires, thousands of times thinner than human hair, but they are very drivers.
However, their fragility did not make them fit, because they broke down in the loading processes. Until chance solved the problem.
“Mya (Le Thai, member of the team) was fiddling and covered everything with a thin layer of gel before starting a loading cycle,” said Reginald Penner, from the Department of Chemistry at the University of California.
“She discovered that by using this electrolytic gel, he could subject them to charge and discharge cycles hundreds of thousands of times, without losing their capabilities,” said Penner. Therefore, if the current batteries die at 5,000 cycles, they can last up to 200,000.
The substance with which the nanowires cover plasticizes the metal oxide and gives them a flexibility that prevents them from fracturing.
The problem now is to find a substance cheaper than gold. The use of this material makes it impossible to market it on a large scale, due to its price.
For now, the use of nickel is considered.