Image credit - Rajen Dutta /University of California Irvine

Image credit – Rajen Dutta /University of California Irvine

While battery size does matter since it also helps determine how long a device will be able to last before requiring a charge, battery lifespan also matters because what’s the point of having a 5,000mAh battery if the charge won’t hold and starts degrading noticeably after a year, right? However researchers over at UC Irvine might have found the solution to that.

The researchers have decided that instead of using lithium, which is what most batteries these days pack, they decided to go with gold nanowires and use electrolyte-gel. The original idea was to create a solid-state battery that uses gel instead of liquid to hold the charge, but it seems that in the process they accidentally created a battery that could still hold most of its charge even after 200,000 recharges.

According to Reginald Penner, a lead author of the paper, why that is remains a bit of a mystery for now. “We started to cycle the devices, and then realized that they weren’t going to die. We don’t understand the mechanism of that yet.” Penner notes that after 200,000 charges, the battery only lost 5% of its charge, which is about 400% more than regular batteries.

However before you get too excited, don’t think that these batteries will be making it into your laptops or smartphones anytime soon. The use of gold in these batteries could potentially make manufacturing it on a larger scale very expensive, but Penner suggests that nickel could be a possible cheaper alternative.

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