Engadget writes researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) have designed a new lithium-ion battery design that uses porous silicon nanoparticles instead of graphite anodes. The new battery design promises to hold three times as much energy as traditional li-ion designs and a recharge time of just 10 minutes. USC claims the design can be used for anything from cell phones to hybrid cars, and suggests it could become commercially available within 2-3 years.
Its use of porous, flexible silicon nanowires for the anodes in a lithium-ion battery delivers the high capacity, fast recharging and low costs that come with silicon, but without the fragility of earlier attempts relying on simpler silicon plates. In practice, the battery could deliver the best of all worlds. Triple the capacity of today's batteries? Full recharges in 10 minutes? More than 2,000 charging cycles? Check. It all sounds a bit fantastical, but USC does see real-world use on the horizon.