Fully Recharge Batteries in Just 12 Minutes
Korean media is touting a major breakthrough in battery technology from the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) called graphene ball. Said to dramatically improve both charging capacity and charging speed, the breakthrough could have a real impact on consumers who have come to rely on their battery driven mobile devices. And there are implications as well for electric automobiles and other applications.
See more on the Samsung graphene ball…
According to the Korean news service ETNews, Samsung’s graphene ball is a major breakthrough with such significant advantages, it is likely to surpass all other battery technologies. These advantages are said to include increasing charging capacity by 45%, and at the same time speeding the charging process as it is 5 times faster than existing technology.
Not only that, but other advantages include the fact that graphene ball is an inherently stable material and is safe to use in high temperature situations, such as those experienced in electric vehicles.
What Is A Graphene Ball?
So what is graphene ball? Samsung’s research team, which was reportedly lead by Son In-hyeok and Doo Seok-kwang, were looking for a way to use graphene, a material with high conductivity and solidity, in a battery. In running various ideas, they experimented with a mechanism that combines graphene into a three-dimensional structure similar to popcorn, through a process that uses widely available and cost-effective silica. That newly created structure takes graphene and turns it into the graphene ball.
Graphene is an unusual element with a heavily scientific definition. However, in plain language, graphene is essentially a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice, taken from graphite. A relatively recent discovery, graphene exhibits some interesting properties. From Wikipedia:
Graphene has many unusual properties. It is the strongest material ever tested,* efficiently conducts heat and electricity and is nearly transparent. Graphene shows a large and nonlinear diamagnetism,* which is greater than that of graphite, and can be levitated by neodymium magnets. [*=footnote reference numbers removed]
A Faster, Better, Safer Lithium-ion Battery
According to the report, if the graphene ball is used as an anodic protective film and cathodic material for lithium-ion batteries, “it will improve charging capacity and reduce charging time.” Yet, the battery will remain “safe in high temperature[s].”
Lithium ion batteries that took 1 hour to fully charge, now can be fully charged in 12 minutes when they employ graphene ball technology. And remain more stable at any temperature while charging faster.
“While this research is able to combine many multifunctional high-crystalline graphene materials in large [quantities] and inexpensively, it also greatly improved many characteristics of lithium-ion batteries,” said Son In-hyeok who is the lead author for a thesis on this technology. “We are going to continue to develop secondary battery-related technologies according to expansion of mobile device and electric vehicle markets that have recently started growing rapidly.”
Patents Pending with More Studies to Come
Samsung has applied for two patents in the U.S. and South Korea for its discovery of the graphene ball. The company says it is planning to launch more follow-up research studies that will run continuously until it is fully commercialized.
Working with Samsung on this research was a team from the Seoul National University Chemical Biological Engineering Department led by Professor Choi Jang-wook, and they are considered co-developers. The group published a scientific paper on their findings titled Implementation of Fast Charging and High-Capacity Lithium-Ion Batteries Utilizing Graphene Ball in Nature Communications, a scientific journal.
The Galaxy Note 7 Disaster
Most likely, Samsung began intense research into battery technologies as a result of their disastrous experience with the Galaxy Note 7 which was launched to great fanfare in 2016. Within a few months, the phone was pulled off the market when it was discovered that there was some type of battery malfunction which caused some phones to burst into flames.
Perhaps graphene ball will put the risk of that ever happening again…to rest.