itwbennett writes "Exploding iPhones may be a thing of the past. Researchers at Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute have developed a new polymer, STOBA (that's self-terminated oligomers with hyper-branched architecture to you and me), that is added to the cathode material inside a lithium-ion battery to keep them from overheating. 'Fires or explosions in these batteries are caused by short circuits,' said Wu Hung-chun, a researcher at ITRI, explaining that even minor mishandling such as dropping the handset could result in damage causing a short circuit. 'The technology is ready for lithium-ion batteries used in electronic devices, mobile phones, laptops,' said Wu. And ITRI has started testing STOBA on electric car batteries."