Lithium-ion batteries have enabled a brave new world of powerful wireless devices, but they're not without their limitations. After being charged a number of times, they start to lose their ability to hold that charge, requiring either a replacement battery or a brand new phone. Most batteries last 5,000 to 7,000 recharges, or cycles.
Researchers Reginald Penner and Mya Le Thai of UC Irvine may have created a solution to this dilemma, with a nanowire battery that can be recharged hundreds of thousands of times. According to the pair, nanowires, which increase the surface area of the battery's electrodes, are very fragile and start cracking and degrading after a period of use.
By coating the nanowires in a shell of manganese dioxide and a Plexiglas-like electrolyte gel, Le Tai was able to cycle the an electrode over 200,000 times without detecting any loss of capacity or power, and with no nanowire fractures or degradation. The full paper can be read online, published last week in the journal ACS Energy Letters.
See also -- Why does my battery suck?