Someone found a way to recharge batteries hundreds of thousands of times

Chris Smith

One of the worst things about batteries may soon be fixed thanks to a new innovation from the University of California. Scientists studying battery materials have invented a nanowire that can be used to create batteries that can be recharged hundreds of thousands of times, potentially fixing one of the most annoying things about batteries.

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Regardless of how sophisticated a gadget is, it’s only as good as its battery. Batteries degrade over time, and the older they get, the less of a charge they can hold, requiring more frequent recharging.

But scientists have now devised a way to protect nanowires in batteries from degradation. They did it by coating a gold nanowire in a manganese dioxide shell, and then encasing the entire assembly in an electrolyte that’s made of Plexiglass-like gel, according to

The electrode was cycled up to 200,000 times over the course of three months without showing any loss of capacity and without fracturing the nanowires. Comparatively, a laptop or smartphone battery can be recharged a few hundred times before losing the maximum charge it can hold.

"The coated electrode holds its shape much better, making it a more reliable option," UCI doctoral candidate Mya Le Thai said. "This research proves that a nanowire-based battery electrode can have a long lifetime and that we can make these kinds of batteries a reality."

It’s not clear when this battery breakthrough will be used in commercial products, but the full study is available in the American Chemical Society’s Energy Letters.

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