Stanford boffins promise battery breakthrough

Stanford boffins promise battery breakthrough

Ten times the current life of lithium-ion batteries

Researchers at Stanford University claim to be able to extend the battery life of lithium-ion batteries by a factor of 10 using silicon nanowires.

The new version of the batteries produces 10 times the amount of electricity of existing lithium-ion batteries.

This means that a laptop that currently runs on battery for two hours could operate for 20 hours.

"It is not a small improvement, it is a revolutionary development," said Yi Cui, assistant professor of materials science and the head of the project.

The breakthrough was published online at Nature Nanotechnology, and was written by Cui, his graduate chemistry student Candace Chan and five other researchers.

Cui suggested that the greatly expanded storage capacity could make Li-ion batteries attractive to electric car manufacturers.

He also suggested that they could also be used in homes or offices to store electricity generated by rooftop solar panels.

"Given the mature infrastructure behind silicon, this new technology can be pushed to real life quickly," he said.