MrSeb writes "Hold onto your hats: Graphene, the one true savior, has now found a use in the one technological area that needs it most: batteries. Namely, engineers at Northwestern University have found that a specially-crafted graphene electrode can allow a lithium-ion battery to store 10 times as much power and charge 10 times faster — and last longer, too. In essence, a lithium-ion battery anode's capability to handle and store lithium dictates the output voltage, total capacity (mAh), and charging speed. Northwestern, by punching nanoholes (10-20nm) into each layer of graphene (graphite is just millions of layers of graphene), have made it so lithium ions can move in and out of the anode 10 times faster. Then, because graphene doesn't hold onto lithium very well (6 carbon atoms can hold 1 lithium), the engineers added silicon atoms between the layers of graphene. A single silicon atom can hold 4 lithium ions. Ta'da: a lithium-ion battery that can store 10 times as juice and recharge 10 times as fast. Northwestern even says that, after 150 charges, their new battery is still 5 times more effective as conventional Li-ion batteries."
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