Researchers Find Way to Boost Life of Batteries Used in Smartphones

Researchers say graphite anodes are the main cause of battery degradation.

Researchers Find Way to Boost Life of Batteries Used in Smartphones

This could solve a recurring problem for anyone who owns smartphones as batteries degrade over time

Highlights
  • The researchers are now investigating a new type of binder
  • Their research could have far-reaching consequences
  • Durable batteries would help those relying on artificial organs

Researchers from the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have found a way to increase the lifetime of batteries significantly. This could solve a recurring problem for anyone who owns smartphones — as batteries degrade over time, the life of a phone is automatically reduced, even if it performs fine in other ways. Scientists say the blame lies mostly with the design of the lithium-ion batteries that power these state-of-the-art smartphones as these batteries degrade over time. Researchers Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST) are probing ways to give a longer capacity to these batteries.

The researchers, led by Professor Noriyoshi Matsumi, have published their latest findings in ACS Applied Energy Materials journal, which was reported by EurekaAlert. They say the widely used graphite anodes – the negative terminal – in a battery require a binder to hold the mineral together but the poly (vinylidene fluoride) binder currently in use has several drawbacks that reduce its position as an ideal binding material.

The researchers are now investigating a new type of binder made from a bis-imino-acenaphthenequinone-paraphenylene (BP) copolymer, which they believe could address the issue of smartphones running out of juice so quickly. They said their research could have far-reaching consequences as a more reliable back-up system can encourage consumers to invest more in expensive assets like electric vehicles that their polluting alternatives.

The lead researcher explained that while a half-cell conventional PVDF binder exhibited only 65 percent of its original capacity after 500 charge-discharge cycles, the half-cell using the BP copolymer as a binder showed a 95 percent capacity retention after 1700 such cycles. He also said that durable batteries would help those relying on artificial organs, besides the general population who hugely depend on smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

The study involved Professor Tatsuo Kaneko, Senior Lecturer Rajashekar Badam, PhD student Agman Gupta, and former postdoctoral fellow Aniruddha Nag.


Is Mi 11X the best phone under Rs. 35,000? We discussed this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Later (starting at 23:50), we jump over to the Marvel series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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Further reading: Smartphones, lithium ion
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