New battery technology could double capacities for consumer electronics

A startup called SolidEnergy says that it’s developed a new design for a safe, rechargeable lithium-metal battery, potentially revolutionizing energy storage for small devices like smartphones and wearables.

A startup called SolidEnergy says that it has developed a new design for a safe, rechargeable lithium metal battery, potentially revolutionizing energy storage for small devices like smartphones and wearables.

Breakthroughs in materials science mean that former MIT post-doctoral student Qichao Hu’s company can produce batteries with double the energy density of current-generation lithium ion batteries. This means that they can either be twice as powerful as a lithium ion battery of equivalent size, or pack the same capability into a unit half as large, according to MIT News.

+ALSO ON NETWORK WORLD: Ford remains wary of Tesla-like autonomous driving features + Apple to introduce three new iPad models next year

Lithium metal batteries have long been a subject of particular interest to researchers, given their high energy density. Until now, though, efforts to create a rechargeable version have been unsuccessful – the anode material tends to break down over time, quickly rendering them unusable.

Hu’s design, however, not only solves the problem of rechargeability, it does away with a bulky solid anode, replacing it with a sophisticated hybrid that uses both a thin lithium metal foil and a non-flammable liquid electrolyte, MIT News reports.

But better smartphone batteries are far from the only thing on SolidEnergy’s radar. The company’s latest venture funding round completed in January, adding $12 million in series B money to the company’s existing $8.5 million stake. The lead investor in that round was General Motors Ventures, and SolidEnergy has been up-front about its desire to use its batteries in electric cars.

The company’s roadmap suggests that SolidEnergy’s batteries could be used in smartphones as early as next year, with the automotive sector next on the list.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jon Gold

Network World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?