Scientists from the Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory claim they have developed new lithium-ion based batteries that feature double the capacity of today's batteries.
These new batteries could boost the battery life of a notebook to more than 8 hours. Another application that may greatly benefit from these batteries are hybrid cars.
Scheduled for an unveiling at the meeting of the Electrochemical Society today, the new technology is based on a “manganese-rich” nano-crystalline, layered-composite structure that is used as material for the positive electrode. According to an early announcement, the researchers are using a uses a two-component "composite" structure: An active component for charge storage is embedded in an inactive component that stabilizes the structure.
First test results are promising: The scientists claim that the new materials yielded record charge-storage capacities of more than 250 mAh/g or more than twice the capacity of materials used in rechargeable lithium batteries today. In addition to the capacity advantage, the presenters also say that manganese-rich systems are cheaper to manufacture than today’s cobalt and nickel versions of lithium batteries.
Unfortunately it's not clear when these batteries could go into mass production.