A Revolution in Batteries

Silicon has more than 10 times as much charge capacity as carbon. If commercial batteries could live up to that performance level, an electric car could go 400 miles on a charge rather than 40 miles.

Published: 19-Jan-2008

If you've ever rushed to save your files before your laptop battery gave out, or scrambled to recharge your iPod, or wished out loud for the resurrection of the electric car ... relief is in sight.

Yet another battery breakthrough is on its way to market, taking its place alongside improved hybrid-electric vehicles, the promise of ultracapacitor systems and even better AA power cells. Next-generation batteries could well last several times as long as current power packs, thanks to nanotechnology.

"This idea will have a really high impact on battery technology," said Stanford chemist Yi Cui, who is the lead researcher behind a study appearing in this month's issue of Nature Nanotechnology. "This is really revolutionary."

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