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Smartphones and laptops could soon be charged in as little as five minutes due to new battery research from the University of Cambridge.
They have developed a low-cost technique to look inside lithium-ion batteries that was not previously possible.
Researchers have been able to identify the “limits” for charging cycles within batteries so that it can be used to maximise their potential. “We found that there are different speed limits for lithium-ion batteries, depending on whether it’s charging or discharging,” said Dr Ashkay Rao from Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory, who led the research.
Lithium-ion batteries are found in portable electronics through to electric vehicles. Several limiting factors are currently slowing down the transition to a fossil fuel-free world.
The Cambridge researchers developed an optical microscopy technique called interferometric scattering. This has allowed them to monitor the transitions in the charge-discharge cycle and understand the batteries full potential.
Previously, monitoring these cycles was expensive and involved time-consuming techniques like synchrotron X-ray or electron microscopy.