back to article Nanoparticle boffinry could boost battery life

The secrets to a longer battery life may lie in the shape of nanoparticles. That's according to a Stanford study published in Nature Materials today. Lithium-ion batteries can be made smaller using nanoparticles as their tiny size allows for faster charging and greater energy storage – which is useful for smartphones where …

  1. Katie Saucey
    Happy

    Great article....

    ...except where's the quote that goes something like this:

    "We expect to see this reach the consumer market in about 5 years"

    All kidding aside, this type of research sounds great not only for better batteries, but for materials engineering in general. The more insight there is on how nanoparticles behave the better, and hopefully it get us one step closer to manufacturing that magic space elevator material to boot.

  2. Tromos

    "faster charging and greater energy storage"

    Hopefully, without a corresponding increase in the likelihood of bursting into flames.

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: "faster charging and greater energy storage"

      What's life without a little bit of risk?

      1. Mikey

        Re: "faster charging and greater energy storage"

        'Life' without a little bit of risk is called working for the HSE, if it can indeed be called a life...

      2. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: "faster charging and greater energy storage"

        What's life without a little bit of risk?

        Longer?

      3. Chemical Bob

        Re: What's life without a little bit of risk?

        Life and Risk are both board games that really should be played separately.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Again

    "Scientists in white coats make batteries loads better."

    Again?!

  4. msknight Silver badge

    Yawn....

    Another article on battery improvement, and yet another decade when batteries... er... haven't improved.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm...

    "The engineers found that icosahedral nanoparticles, which have 20 different sides, stored less energy than cube- or pyramid-shaped nanoparticles."

    This seems sort of predictable - the Hydrogen will react with the Palladium nano-particles via the surface of the nano-particle and, for the same mass/volume, an icosahedron will have a lower surface area than a cube or pyramid shaped nano-particle.

    But I guess that's why they were testing them in the first place.

  6. Sir Sham Cad

    observe hydrogen atoms moving in real time.

    Erm, holy shit, science! Bearing in mind atoms don't get any smaller that's an astonishing achievement.

    1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

      Re: observe hydrogen atoms moving in real time.

      They kinda do but it's not like they survive the process. (see CERN for more details)

  7. Jim Oase

    We can improve anything to the degree we can measure it...

    We can improve anything when we have more people measuing it.

    Our problem with electric powered devices is energy density. For electric cars the combination of space needed to create and then store the energy is greater than using fossil fuels to get a shaft to turn. When we learn how to create sufficient electrical power to power an automobile using less space than a fuel tank and 30% efficient fossil fuel heat converter than we will rid the landscape of electric generating power stations.

    We need better ways to measure how electricity is generated. Today we know electricity is not a natural form of energy therefore we need to learn how to transform natural forms of energy to electricity using a smaller foot print.

    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: We can improve anything to the degree we can measure it...

      "Today we know electricity is not a natural form of energy"

      Wat. I'll make you a deal--take this here piece of ironmongery and go stand outside in a lightning storm.

      1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

        Re: We can improve anything to the degree we can measure it...

        Thanks for that bit of wisdom. A quick Googling gives several examples of natural electricity including the intriguing telluric current effect, no need for man's intervention nor big electrical storms.

        Then there's things like just about every nervous system on the planet that functions on some level due to electrical currents. But I digress.

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