Thanks to nanotechnology, an assistant professor at Stanford University has come up with a breakthrough in the longevity of Lithium-Ion batteries. As well as being able to power your laptop for up to 20 hours—10 times more than current levels—Yi Cui thinks that his design could also work on iPods and other handheld devices that rely on small batteries to work. The skinny after the jump.
The problem with current designs is that they are limited in the amount of lithium they can hold, as carbon is needed for the battery's anode. Yi Cui's design uses a nest of silicon nanowires to hold the lithium in place, allowing far more of the element to fit into the battery. Because so little silicon is used, there should be none of the traditional swelling damage that often occurs when too much of it is used.
Since the design uses technologies that are already mature, Cui reckons it will not take long to market his nanowire battery. He has already filed for a patent and hopes either to work with existing companies in order to start shipping the idea into existing products, or to form his own company. [Electronista]