no_exploding_lithiumThe problem with lithium-ion batteries is that when damaged or overheated, they will swell in size and explode. This is usually the case when we read about phones and other devices exploding and catching on fire, which is usually the result of unauthorized chargers which sometimes fails to regulate the amount of power going into said battery.

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That being said, if you are a little paranoid about exploding batteries, you can start to rest a bit easier because scientists at Stanford have created the first lithium battery that won’t explode. We suppose that isn’t 100% accurate. These batteries will explode at some point, but what the scientists have done is create a battery that is smart enough to cool itself down when it has overheated, and then restart itself once it has reached a safe temperature.

Best of all, it seems that this heating and cooling technique has no impact on the battery’s performance. According to Zhenan Bao, a professor of chemical engineering at Stanford, “People have tried different strategies to solve the problem of accidental fires in lithium-ion batteries. We’ve designed the first battery that can be shut down and revived over repeated heating and cooling cycles without compromising performance.”

This involves nanotechnology such as nano spikes. Basically, these spikes touch each other and have electric current flowing through them. However when the battery gets too hot, it expands meaning that the spikes no longer touch each other, thus cutting off any electricity to prevent the battery from heating up even further. Unfortunately, it is unclear as to when this technology will be applied to our current electronics, but it is a good start.

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