What if you could charge your smartphone in just one minute? U.S. scientists say they’ve invented a long-lasting, flexible and cheap aluminum battery that can charge a smartphone in as little as one minute.
Details of the researchers’ discovery were published in Nature. According to researchers, aluminum-ion batteries could potentially replace lithium-ion batteries, which are commonly used in mobile devices and laptops.
A quick charging time is one obvious benefit, but researchers say aluminum-ion batteries are also much safer than lithium-ion batteries, which can burst into flames.
This isn’t the first time researchers have tried to develop an aluminum battery. While previous attempts were failures, scientists made a breakthrough during this attempt by accidently discovering that graphite pairs well with aluminum.
In a prototype for the battery, aluminum was used to create a negatively-charged anode. Graphite was used to create a positively charged cathode. When testing the prototype, the battery recharged in just one minute.
Aluminum is lightweight, inexpensive and has a high charging capacity. Unlike lithium-ion batteries, aluminum-ion batteries won’t catch fire – even if you drill through it. The new aluminum battery also has an increased charging capacity of more than 7,500 cycles. It’s flexible too, which means it can be folded or bent without compromising its functionality.