‘Eggs’ are the solution to boosting smartphone batteries

Researchers hope an expanding yolk can save the day

Smartphone battery life is about to get a serious boost thanks to a new piece of technology that has as much in common with an egg as it does batteries.

Scientists working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Tsinghua University have created a nanoparticle battery electrode with a shape shifting design that prevents problems with batteries degrading over time.

The ‘yolk’ that sits inside the ‘shell’ on the outside is able to change size over and over again without it damaging the structure of the shell and it’s hoped by MIT and Tsinghua University that this can revolutionise the world of gadget batteries.

That differs to the current situation with lithium ion batteries. The electrodes right now go through repeated cycles of charging and recharging, and each time expand and shrink in volume. This results in the shedding and reformation of the ‘skin’ layer of the battery that takes in lithium irreversibly and this has a detrimental effect on the lifespan of the battery.

The new invention uses aluminium as the main element in the battery’s negative electrode and that even brings the cost down due to the fact that the material is in the low-cost segment when compared to precious metals.

Even though this is currently only an experiment, the technique involved in manufacturing the batteries and the fact the materials are easy to find mean that the ‘eggs’ could find a way into your smartphone sooner than you think.