Researchers at The University of California, Riverside are working on a new phone battery that utilizes an ingredient commonly found in Silly Putty.
Silicon dioxide has been used in lithium ion batteries in the past, but not with much success. Engineers at UCR have found a way to put the material in nanotube form to produce more energy. If the tests continue to show positive results, this could enable batteries to last up to three times longer than the ones currently on the market.
The product is an abundant, non-toxic material that is friendly to the environment.
Zachary Favors, lead author in a paper released by UCR, said, “We are taking the same material used in kids’ toys and medical devices and even fast food, and using it to create next generation battery materials.”
This is not the first time this material has been used in this capacity. A team at Stanford did similar work back in 2012, but nothing was ever put on the market. The researchers at UCR seem motivated enough to get their discovery on the market, which could lead to significant improvements to smartphone batteries in the future.