Improved nanomaterials could bring batteries that fully charge in a few seconds
The problem with mobile devices these days is they need to be recharged quite often, even if they come with hefty batteries. Companies such as Meizu are actively trying to provide faster charging batteries, but charging times have not been substantially reduced, as a smartphone still requires at least 20 minutes to fully charge. Researchers from Drexel’s College of Engineering have tried to tackle the battery problem for some time, and now believe they can provide an efficient solution, which reduces recharge times to mere seconds. This solution comes in the form of a nanomaterial called MXene that is integrated in a new electrode design.
However, the researchers had to tweak the flat structure of the MXene nanomaterial in order to provide more freedom for the battery ions. Stacking did not help improve the movement freedom of the ions so the research team had to combine the MXene with a hydrogel to form a “Swiss cheese” structure that enables free flow for the ions.
According to research team member Maria Lukatskaya, "the ideal electrode architecture would be something like ions moving to the ports via multi-lane, high-speed 'highways,' instead of taking single-lane roads. Our macroporous electrode design achieves this goal, which allows for rapid charging — on the order of a few seconds or less."
The MXene study has been published in the prestigious Nature Energy. New batteries based on the MXene nanomaterial could greatly benefit mobile devices such as smartphones and laptops, or even cameras and electric vehicles.