Researchers think they can triple your smartphone battery life but it won't happen soon

A new research paper details the efforts of a team at Stanford University who are looking to create a lithium battery that, if successful, could lead to much longer battery life for smartphones and tablets, but it could take several years for that research to yield practical products.

The paper, published in the Nature Nanotechnology scientific journal, talks about how the team has created a way to use lithium in a battery's anode component, rather than the typical electrolyte section. This should should allow for those batteries to keep their charge up to three times the lenght of today's packs, which should please people who have to resort to external battery packs to extend their talk or data time.

The problem? Placing the lithium in the anode can cause instability in the battery, and no one wants that. To solve this issue, the Stanford team has created a kind of carbon shield to put around the anode. offers a simplified version of what the paper states the team has come up with:

The Stanford team's nanosphere layer resembles a honeycomb: it creates a flexible, uniform and non-reactive film that protects the unstable lithium from the drawbacks that have made it such a challenge. The carbon nanosphere wall is just 20 nanometers thick. It would take some 5,000 layers stacked one atop another to equal the width of single human hair.

While this is a big breakthrough, it may still be several years before the first lithium batteries based on this method could be made. What do you think of the prospect of having smartphone or tablet batteries that could last up to three times as long as current models?

Source: Nature via Phys

John Callaham
  • What about that girl who made the fastest charger for a phone? Also, FIRST COMMENT!
  • +1520ers dont drip a sweat.
  • Duh.
  • Intel kind a hired her....she designed capacitors....
  • Really?
  • And proudly she is an Indian
  • Good for her!
  • That Indian Fellow was runner up he got 25000$ while the winning lady got 50000$. There projects were different.
  • Woah!
  • Can't wait.
  • That would end the headache of charging the phone every hour after using internet....1300mAH battery
  • +521
  • Sounds like you have a bad battery. Contact your carrier for a replacement battery/phone.
  • Hello wpguy, Here in India we don't buy phones from carriers.we get unlocked phones which we may use with any carrier. And the big deal is my phone is out of warranty period so I can't get any help from Nokia okay, okay that's MS-Mobile now. I searched internet for Lumia 710's battery but all if them offered those 1300mAh batteries only.
  • +620
  • +620
  • Of all smartphones.
  • Have you ever seen an iPhone?
  • Obviously, but it's not a good example. Samsung phones, whether they run Android or Windows Phone, have the best battery life on the market.
  • @tardixmatrix Yeah my father's iPhone which needs to be charged in every 1-2 hours.
  • I don't know about you, but my Lumia 1520 lasts a hell of a long time. The problem is manufacturers focus too much on making "thin" devices and not enough on functional devices. Look at the new blackberry passport. Its fugly but It has a 3400 mha battery. That thing will last 2-3 days when it comes out.
  • True, but the 930 has a 2420 mAh battery only and its battery life is very short compared to other flagships. Look at the S5 (2800 mAh), I'm pretty sure it lasts as long as the 1520 and it has an efficient battery saver mode.
  • My 920 has about half that battery and lasts all day and until the following morning. So a 2420mAh battery should last 2 days easily. Thats plenty more than an iPhone my friend.
  • The 920 has a 2000 mAh battery. You forget that the 930 has a Snapdragon 800 processor and a 5-inch Full HD screen. In a previous article, DJCBS said that his 930 and his 920 had the same battery life.
  • Not of the Note 3, the S5 or even the Ativ S.
  • +525
  • This, along with the "30 second charger" which is supposed to make it to the market late 2016 would solve our battery problems atleast for a few dacades.
  • On to vehicles!
  • Oh, well....That would be a breakthrough!
  • My grandchildren are so lucky.
  • Hahahahah :D
  • Well said haha!
  • +vaporware
  • Of course they are going to be luckier than us in the matter of technology but they are going to get less nature
  • I read it yes 3 to 4 times more battery life
  • Triple durability = triple thin battery = same durability
  • Nokia would have better battery than Samsung still
  • This is currently the number one flaw in high end phones, battery life, if they can solve that conundrum I'd be a happy chap.
  • And screen contrast /reflectance...
  • With that and super fast chargers were can bury fossil fuels back where they belong.
  • Most of the electricity IS produced by fossil fuels..period. I guess u know that...
  • The whole life emissions of most "eco friendly" technology is absolutely awful. If they actually interested in being green they'll need to sort this out.
  • Yeah..its got to do with how much efficiency we have been able,achieve...and as of now...on,many cases its not even 50% that needs to go up...
  • It will. People just need to spend money on it instead of pretending it's infinitely inferior and can't ever possibly be better. If we'd been thinking that way our entire history, we'd still be using wooden clubs.
  • ... until 20 years later.
  • I have noticed a huge battery drain after installing this new lock screen as much as I like it I'm uninstalling it. I came to work at 6am, its 9. Sent a few texts read news for a few min I'm at 41 %wtf
  • Same here. Got rid of it since I can't change the font (size) manually too.
  • Several apps are draining.
  • Yeah I have pretty much everything disabled but after that lock screen it just dropped crazy, just uninstalled and charging will see how bad it is.
  • I'm surprised. I just verified in the Battery Saver app and it says the new lock screen app almost didn't take anything from the battery. And I changed background a lot in the last day to try it out so the little it took is probably when I was actively using it.
  • Oh, but I'm using the background with the text in diagonal, maybe the other ones, like the clock, take more battery.
  • That's the one I was using as well :/ Well seems to be ok now
  • Well my phone is fully charged now and still on 100 for now. Should last me until midnight with my regular use
  • Battery will be extended to allow a day or more. Didn't Nokia claim Lumia range had a day or more
  • Gasoline batteries are the future (kidding)
  • Don't they already exist but not commercially ? Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • About the only way to use gas to work your phone is to get a small house hold generator, carry that on your back and keep your phone plugged in....sure it would work bit not sure you could heat people on the phone, never mind dealing with the smell
  • 99% Coulombic efficiency, not even close to good enough, battery dead after 100 cycles, if not faster due to increased internal resistance.
  • It would have all been easier if the arc reactor was real :D :P
  • Short battery life is the main problem of all smartphones, but especially Lumias. The 930's battery is way too small. I wonder how Samsung makes the S5's battery last for two entire days.
  • Again, of all smartphones
    Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • Dude stop spamming untruths. My 920 is fine. I had a 635 left in a drawer on Friday, it still had charge today, over 2 days! Try that with an iPhone.
  • Bro Lumias are best when kept. My phone goes over 3-4 hours with just 2% charge. But main problems starts when you use the phones. It's the problem of every smartphone. And in case of's like hell, uses a lot of battery.
  • And what if they make bigger batteries, and separated chip-batteries?
  • I got 50 problems...and the battery life's another one
  • I think its time for some kryptonite hail Robert Downey Jr!
  • ?...
  • Where did iron man come in on kryptonite?
    I think it wad the arc reactor?
  • Wait waaat
  • You people realize OEMs are just going to use a smaller battery to save costs and only give us a marginal improvement.... Right?
  • Apple will be so proud to show off their new thinner phone, with a small thin battery. And when people will start complaining they get papercuts when talking on the phone because it's too thin they will tell them they are not holding their phone the right way.
  • Research also show that Windows phone will dominant the smartphone operating system market , but not so soon !! Mean bull shit!
  • 3x?  Researchers in Japan found a way to use peroxide in lithium ion batteries that increased the energy density by 7x.  Also several years away, testing, etc.  The implications for automotive applications are much bigger than portable electronics.  That Nissan Leaf that has a stated 90 mile range could triple its range to 270 miles and cut the battery size / weight by half.   The reduced weight should improve 0-60 times as well.  Wonder if there is an benefit in combining both approaches.
  • I want them to double it first/soon
  • In the meantime how about some more efficient apps that don't drain your battery like it's no tomorrow? Looking at you Facebook, Battery Saver, Cortana, etc...
  • We are using the newest CPUs and memory in out phones but our batteries still use 15-20 year old tech. 2-3 times, yea, cool but not impressive, give me a battery that will last a week with HEAVY use, then i will be impressed
  • +520 and less heat produced when heavily used
  • +iwanteverything
  • Read something like that almost every year but nothing happened so far.
  • It is probably significant too phones. There will be huge impact to auto industry. 
  • im wondering why microsoft, tesla, apple etc arent throwing money at this stuff, with those truck loads of money they can come up with at least a 50% better battery in a year
  • You made two typos in second paragraph.
  • It's about keeping the same charge there times longer by reducing self discharge, not about batteries having triple capacity.
  • 1520 battery life is more than sufficient for now. However, all batteries tend to become deficient after about a year of use. And I mean ALL batteries.
  • I heard this news few years ago. Researcher nowadays just talk too much. In real life, they just sit down in front a computer and play dota 2.
  • You sir deserve a win32 computer with discrete graphics
  • & I think I can last till windows 69 dev preview
  • It will never triple the battery life of ur phone. As soon as this happens, developers will add a whole crap more features that will make the battery seem like a battery of today
  • Sounds interesting, but my Lumia 1520 already lasts 3 times longer than the typical smartphone.