The researchers announced the "immortal" flexible lithium ion battery. This promises that it will launch within the next 2 years

Concrete builds the modern world foundation today. But what drives the future of technology based on that concrete is lithium-ion batteries...


Concrete builds the modern world foundation today. But what drives the future of technology based on that concrete is lithium-ion batteries. Battery technology is the lifeline of most chargeable electric devices: from phones that fit in the palm of your hand to the electric car your family sits in.
However, lithium-ion batteries are like concrete. They are the wild child of nature molded by human hands. It is full of difficult problems.

Lithium-ion battery technology is based on hazardous, flammable materials. So just a little malfunction, electrical equipment, no matter how small, will turn into a bomb with quite a lot of damage. However, we believe that science just hasn't found a safe solution.



This type of battery is safe even when cut, bent.

Physicists at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) also share that belief. For the past 5 years they've been trying to redesign the li-ion battery, in order to find a battery that is absolutely safe. In 2017, they announced new battery technology. It's a product made in partnership with the University of Maryland: a battery that stays safe even when cut, bent, bumped, or immersed in water.

Late last year, the team at Johns Hopkins lab pushed the limit further. They make a fireproof battery and have the same voltage as the existing battery on the market.

In order to have an "immortal" state (immortal in a way that withstands damage but can still die old), the battery must possess a truly efficient layer of electrolyte.
If you do not know, electrolyte is what separates the positive and negative pole of a battery. When you use a li-ion battery, charged lithium particles run through a diaphragm located in the electrolyte. It goes from the cathode to the anode, then undergoes chemical reaction to generate energy.

Most electrolytes in li-ion batteries use a mixture of flammable lithium salts and toxic solutions. Jeff Maranchi, head of material science research at APL, calls it a "recipe for disaster." If this thin wall is punctured, the battery will short-circuit, a chemical reaction occurs inside that will cause the battery's battery temperature to rise dramatically. When heat finds its way to the flammable electrolyte placed next to an oxygen-rich cathode, you get yourself a "small" fire.


APL new battery burning test.

Batteries made of water can avoid the tragedy. Because it combines with the electrolyte, which is the main component from water, it will be both non-toxic and non-flammable. But 25 years ago, science has not been able to apply this weak battery. However, the APL team finally found a solution: they increased the amount of lithium salts present in the electrolyte compound. Then, they added a polymer. So it was able to increase the voltage from 1.2 volts up to 4 volts, equivalent to the current li-ion battery.

When Konstantinos Gerasopoulos, a senior researcher at APL and lead researcher, found a way to attach existing cathodes and anodes to the new electrolyte. Thus, they created a unique battery. It is transparent and flexible like contact lenses, neither toxic nor flammable, can be produced and operated in the environment without being put in a sealed container. Best of all, no matter how much you drop or toss it, the battery is unharmed.

In the test, the team put the battery in salt water, chopped the battery with scissors, creating a strong impact on the battery surface, burning it. But the battery was not overpowered, it continued to demonstrate its ability to store and discharge electricity efficiently. After being baked, the researchers cut off the scorched part, then witnessed the battery continue to operate normally for another 100 hours.

The new water battery technology is not just a test product, the APL team says they have partnered with another manufacturer. They will soon apply the new technology to existing lithium-ion batteries. The old and new combination process will not face many obstacles. Most likely, this technology will appear within the next 2 years, and will take electronics to a new level.

Because of its flexibility, the new battery technology will be very useful at wearable electronics manufacturers. We will even have smart clothes in the future. Resistance to impact, hot fire and immersion in water will not make this "water battery" suitable for military technology, the science of the deep sea or the endless universe.

Currently, there are still some technological obstacles such as the charging and discharging ring of the battery is still low.
The current smartphone battery has a charge and discharge cycle of about 1,000 times, but the APL's battery has only reached 100 times. According to Professor Konstantinos Gerasopoulos, adjusting the chemical composition of the electrolyte will solve this problem.

If everything goes well, the era of electronic device battery easily cause an explosion will end within the next 2 years.

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High Tech Brain: The researchers announced the "immortal" flexible lithium ion battery. This promises that it will launch within the next 2 years
The researchers announced the "immortal" flexible lithium ion battery. This promises that it will launch within the next 2 years
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