Samsung has published details of what looks like a major breakthrough in smartphone battery power, a twist on lithium-ion that adds graphene layers to boost claimed performance by nearly 100 percent.
Information about the technology has been published in the scientific journal Nature. A note said that Samsung supported the work financially and is applying for a patent.
"Silicon is receiving discernible attention as an active material for next-generation lithium-ion battery anodes because of its unparalleled gravimetric capacity," said the abstract.
"However, the large volume change of silicon over charge-discharge cycles weakens its competitiveness in the volumetric energy density and cycle life. Here we report direct graphene growth over silicon nanoparticles without silicon carbide formation."
The short version is that Samsung has developed a prototype that could result in a "commercially viable technology".
The company claimed to have overcome a problem caused by the expansion of silicon with the layering of graphene. The solution does not add to the size of the battery and thus would allow a consistent form factor for device manufacturers.
The Nature article suggested that the lithium batteries could be used to power large machines including "electric vehicles".
V3 has asked Samsung in the UK for more information on the technology and when it will become a commercial product.
The work is likely to be connected to Samsung SDI, which the firm said is "the ideal business partner" for lithium batteries.
The company is constantly investing in research and development of batteries, which are found in items from bicycles to smartphones, tablets and vacuum cleaners.
"Samsung SDI has become the world's leading provider of total battery solutions from materials to cells and packs," Samsung said.
"About 1,500 R&D engineers are working hard to develop the next-generation battery solutions to meet customer needs for various applications."
Any improvement in battery life is likely to be welcome widely by consumers, with battery life one of the main areas of smartphone use that can cause frustration, with phones often failing to last a full day's heavy use on a single charge.
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