Researchers tout tenfold battery capacity boost

By Stewart Mitchell on Oct 24, 2011 2:28 PM
Filed under Hardware

German team claims metal fluoride batteries could power future smartphones.

Scientists pursuing better battery life for mobile devices believe they have developed a concept that could improve storage capacity tenfold.

Scientists at Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) claim the discovery could lead to metal fluoride-based batteries that are both longer lasting and safer than the lithium-ion batteries used in current smartphones and laptops.

“Lithium-ion batteries are applied widely, but their storage capacity is limited,” the researchers said. “In the future, battery systems of enhanced energy density will be needed for mobile applications and such batteries can store more energy at reduced weight.”

The latest idea in a long line of battery-enhancing research projects is based on transferring fluoride anions between the electrodes, and using a fluoride-containing electrolyte.

“As several electrons per metal atom can be transferred, this concept allows us to reach extraordinarily high energy densities – up to ten times as high as those of conventional lithium-ion batteries,” said lead researcher Maximilian Fichtner.

The KIT researchers said they were developing materials and battery architecture to improve capacity and stability, but still faced several hurdles, not least making the batteries work at room temperature.

This article originally appeared at

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Researchers tout tenfold battery capacity boost
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