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Power Technology

Samsung Nanotech Breakthrough Nearly Doubles Li-Ion Battery Capacity 132

The Korea Times reports that Samsung researchers have published in Nature Communications the results of research (here's the abstract) that could lead to vastly greater storage capacity for lithium-ion batteries. The researchers, by growing graphene on silicon anodes, were able to preserve the shape of the anodes, an outcome which has formerly eluded battery designers: silicon tends to deform over numerous charging cycles. From the linked abstract: Here we report direct graphene growth over silicon nanoparticles without silicon carbide formation. The graphene layers anchored onto the silicon surface accommodate the volume expansion of silicon via a sliding process between adjacent graphene layers. When paired with a commercial lithium cobalt oxide cathode, the silicon carbide-free graphene coating allows the full cell to reach volumetric energy densities of 972 and 700Whl1 at first and 200th cycle, respectively, 1.8 and 1.5 times higher than those of current commercial lithium-ion batteries. Also at ZDNet.
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Samsung Nanotech Breakthrough Nearly Doubles Li-Ion Battery Capacity

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    So when will I be able to buy an electric supercar for $20K? Until then, I'm not interested, and neither are millions of people.

    • I suppose it depends on the definition of "supercar."

      However, I hope this means my android phones will start to get better battery life. Half the life of an iOS device would be a huge win.

      • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
        My Oppo Find 7 is better than a friend's iPhone 6 of the same age.

        The problem isn't "android" but the phones you are looking at. Target longer lives and you'll find options. My Samsung Galaxy S3 would last less than 30 minutes with a graphical game, or movie playing. I'll never go Samsung again. On the car charger, the GPS with screen off, giving directions would drain faster than it would charge, less than 20 minutes of GPS (off charger, about 30-40 on). If you went somewhere an hour away, you'd have
  • 200 cycles? (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 )

    Wow very short life. Call me when it's 2000 cycles.

    • Re:200 cycles? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Dagger2 ( 1177377 ) on Sunday June 28, 2015 @06:38PM (#50008261)

      That's not what it says. It says that the capacity at 200 cycles is 1.5x a current cell. No mention is made of the point at which the capacity of these cells drops below the capacity of regular cells, if indeed such a point even exists: it's entirely possible these cells have roughly the same performance vs cycle curve as current cells after 200 cycles, just with a generally higher capacity.

      I suppose you might raise the question of why they limited their testing to 200 cycles rather than more, but I note that if each charge/discharge cycle takes 4 hours then 2000 cycles would take almost a year to complete.

      • Because 200 cycles need about 200 days?

        • But if the capacity is double, won't each cycle last double the time? So 400 days.

          • I would say, yes! But that might depend on the usage pattern.

    • Right, 200 cycles is too short. These don't even compare well with Panasonic's current NCA cells, which are reported [panasonic.com] as 675 Wh/l. After 300 cycles the Panasonics probably store more energy.

    • I'd take a 200 cycles more powerful battery over a 2000 cycles less powerful battery any time. I'm not sure why you view changing a battery once or twice a year as such a big deal.

      • I'm not sure why you view changing a battery once or twice a year as such a big deal.

        It's because it generally means replacing your whole phone these days.

        • Not really. Anyone with sufficient skill and patience can cheaply replace their own battery, and manufacturers and third parties both offer that service if you'd rather not DIY. Whether it's worthwhile, of course, depends on how new your phone is, and the cost of an upgrade, but for many people in a 2 year contract, it's much cheaper to replace the battery, even through a service, than to upgrade or replace the phone.

      • by aXis100 ( 690904 )

        Because lots of devices don't have user replaceable batteries - eg most tablets and many phones.

        Also, for lots of devices the cost of those batteries is very high, to the point that lifetime cycle cost is significant. Eg electric vehicles or off-grid storage.

    • Keep in mind that for widgets like phones and tablets that they are not always cycling fully on a daily basis. Lithium Ion batteries degrade much faster being deep cycled from 100% to near 0% than if you are only going 80% to 20%, like an order of magnitude longer. Most applications do not ever fuly charge the cells, and shut down before hitting zero to trade off a little capacity for vastly longer useful lifetimes.

  • Wow! (Score:3, Informative)

    by pushing-robot ( 1037830 ) on Sunday June 28, 2015 @05:55PM (#50008119)

    And battery capacity just doubled last week! It's amazing that they can keep releasing breakthrough after breakthrough!

  • by JoeyRox ( 2711699 ) on Sunday June 28, 2015 @06:01PM (#50008145)
    For those cozy nights by the fire.
    • Yes, but you have to start it with gas/diesel. That is the only way to get a real bang for the night.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Watt-hours per liter. Units, stuff that matters.

  • by obarthelemy ( 160321 ) on Sunday June 28, 2015 @06:09PM (#50008165)

    to make half as thick phones, instead of phones that last twice as long...

    • by thinkwaitfast ( 4150389 ) on Sunday June 28, 2015 @06:20PM (#50008203)
      I won't be satisfied with my phone until I can shave with it.
    • I just want fm receiver, and dual sim cards in a smart phone in the USA.

      • I hope you are not serious... if you are:
        Plenty (and i mean literally hundreds) of generic android phones from asian brands (including reputable ones like Lenovo or Xiaomi) that fulfill this criteria. You just need to stop drinking the Apple/Samsung/... et al. Kool-aid.

        Just go to chinavasion, dx.com, etc etc and look at their phone sections.

      • I have a Moto G dual sim w/ FM radio. I use T-Mobile and pay $10/3 months or so ($3/month).

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Back in the late nineties I had a phone that lasted 2 weeks on a charge. I ended up buying a second charger to have at work because twice a month my phone would die in the middle of the work day. Now I charge my phone every night and that doesn't happen anymore.

      I'll take the thinner phone, thanks.

      • by Trogre ( 513942 )

        You're joking, right?

      • by mlts ( 1038732 ) on Monday June 29, 2015 @12:13AM (#50009393)

        I had a HTC Wizard, with its dual-core TI OMAP puttering along at 200 MHz. Doesn't sound like much, but it did well with calls, and could run a week without having to be charged. This was about a decade ago. Now, most of my smartphones won't persist beyond 24 hours unless I have them plugged into an external battery, or like my HTC One M8, enable the extreme battery saving mode, which replaces the Android Launcher default, disables Wi-Fi, and cellular communication, and only runs the absolute minimum of processes. This probably would make the phone's battery last a week, maybe more.

        I sort of wish the philosophy behind apps wasn't "lets make these as fast as a gaming computer or console", but the old PalmOS philosophy of "do the job done right, and if it doesn't need CPU cycles, don't do it." Because of demand for ever faster CPUs and GPUs, phones have to get bigger and bigger for heat dissipation reasons. It would be nice for CPU speed to lag a bit to allow for a better battery life, perhaps adding deeper caches. Adding more RAM to a phone might help things as well. This way, phone shape can be dictated by what users want, not having to have ever larger surfaces for engineering reasons.

        • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
          My Oppo Find 7 will run 3 days or so if the screen doesn't come on. That's with cellular on (And in range, I've never had it out of range, but my Samsung Galaxy S3 would last about an hour if you were out of coverage). And it has a fast charger, charge about 1% per minute, so it's usable at 1 hour charge every 2 days. I'm no longer tied to a charger, like my S3 which, even under very light use, couldn't last an 8 hour day without being charged, so it was plugged in nearly 100% of the time.
  • Any theories for why Tesla's stock price didn't pop on this news?

  • Good. However.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    There have been scores of purported breakthroughs in this subject over the last ten years, but nothing dramatic has as yet hit the market. There have of course been noticeable improvements - but I still have to recharge my phone every night, and a decent range in an electric car will still set you back to the tune of nearly $100K. We'll see whether this is really becomes a breakthrough, or whether it is just another incremental step forward.

    • but I still have to recharge my phone every night, and a decent range in an electric car will still set you back to the tune of nearly $100K.

      Your phone nowadays does way more than the one you used 10 years ago... and if you want to get a flip phone with a long battery time, you still can.

      You are apparently one of the VERY few people who needs to drive a LONG distance every single day. Even removing the subsidy, you can get electric cars that easily do double the average commuter distance for 1/4 of your

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Sunday June 28, 2015 @06:40PM (#50008267) Journal
    The value of 1.5 is equal to 2 for small values of 2.0
  • Note that the paper says the capacity 1.8x at the beginning and 1.5x after 200 cycles. The smart phone batteries are rated at least 1000 cycles. Not sure what is the capacity after 1000th cycle. Until there are some numbers showing superior value at 1000th cycle, it will be hard to commercialize.

    • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
      They may be expecting an advantage to 1000 cycles, but have only tested to 200 because of the time involved, and released with 200, and are halfway to 1000 by now.

      It's only your assumption that they aren't testing to 1000.
      • Plus of course, 1.8x at brand new means that all other things being equal, you'll have many fewer charge cycles.

        Would be interesting to see someone do the math, but the battery decay curve on these should be much shallower overall (until some doofus uses it to make a smaller phone - which isn't really very likely, they're already reaching the limits of what you can do in terms of structural strength if you can bend them by sitting on them...)

        • by AK Marc ( 707885 )

          Plus of course, 1.8x at brand new means that all other things being equal, you'll have many fewer charge cycles.

          No, it doesn't.

          a smaller phone - which isn't really very likely, they're already reaching the limits of what you can do in terms of structural strength

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

          Hmm, thinner than an iPhone, and they drive a car over it. Though I didn't see a bend test, they seem to be implying it's strong.

          • That's at least the third time you shilled for that phone in this thread. You have an impressive array of marketing videos.

            • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
              Nope that's the first time for the R5 (the world's thinnest phone, or was last I checked). The other times were for the Find 7 (which I own), which was, at the time of purchase, the highest pixel density of any phone, though others have matched QHD, but in a (smaller) 5.1 screen.

              Just because I'm happy with my purchase doesn't mean I'm a shill. Just trying to make the point that you can't judge every smartphone by the iPhone or Samsung de jour. So many complain about a specific flaw in a specific model
  • by bigdavex ( 155746 ) on Monday June 29, 2015 @12:15PM (#50012217)

    Samsung Nanotech Breakthrough Nearly Doubles Li-Ion Battery Capacity

    Without even reading the article, I can guess what they did from my own experience: use a hole punch and flip the battery over.

"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying." -- Nikita Khrushchev