Graphene batteries could be powering your next smartphone and it’s important

Mobile device manufacturers are continuing to research ways to help their products’ battery life last longer. As we kick off a new decade of the tech revolution, graphene could be the next solution to durable mobile batteries.

Phone charging
The frustration of constantly having to charge a smartphone could be a thing of the past with the introduction of graphene batteries. Photo: pxfuel

What is graphene?

Ultimately, graphene is an all-powerful super substance. It is a single layer of carbon atoms tightly bound together and is the thinnest compound known to man at one atom thick.

Moreover, it is also the lightest material known, weighing  0.77 milligrams. Along with this, it is the strongest known compound at between 100-300 times stronger than steel.

How can it be applied?

With these attributes, Graphene has the scope to revolutionize the way batteries work. Android Authority discusses that the material could be used as a supercapacitor. Here, it could store current just like a standard lithium-ion battery while charging and discharging rapidly.

Graphene
Graphene’s form is often described as a layer of hexagonal honeycomb lattice. Photo: pxfuel

The material seems like the perfect answer to many questions posed by manufacturers. However, the key problem is that it is currently expensive to cultivate.

Therefore, companies are struggling to find cost-effective ways to implement it in commercial products. Nonetheless, we do know that firms are definitely eager to start including graphene in the makeup of their batteries.

In 2017, Samsung shared a breakthrough with its “graphene ball”, which would enable five times faster charging than current methods. However, there have not been any updates since this announcement. Furthermore, Tesla is also reportedly looking into graphene-powered batteries for its electric vehicles.

Improving performance

Graphene’s high heat conductance enables batteries to run cooler than traditional methods. This is especially useful in an automotive setting. It will also mean less heat felt in the hands and pockets of mobile phone users.

With its featherweight feel, graphene will also enable thinner devices to be produced. Products also won’t need to expand in size to allow for larger capacities. This is because graphene can store up to 1,000Wh of energy per kilogram compared with Lithium-ion storage of 180Wh per kilogram.

Samsung Graphene Ball
Samsung made great advancements with its “graphene ball”. Photo: Samsung

Additionally, graphene is even safer than the already trustworthy lithium-ion batteries. While lithium-ion is generally safe, there have been some isolated incidents involving faulty products. On the other hand, graphene is more durable than its counterpart, reducing the risk of overheating, overcharging and puncturing.

Needed developments

Altogether, graphene is primed to be the all-encompassing solution to tackle new demands set within the industry. The battery is one of the key features of a modern mobile device that is underwhelming compared to other components.

While devices continue to soar ahead with new innovations such as their cameras and connectivity, battery power has largely remained the same over the years.

If and when developers find a way to implement graphene into the battery at a reasonable cost, smart devices will overcome a massive hurdle that is holding them back.

How soon do you think we will see graphene supporting our mobile phone batteries? Let us know what your thoughts are in the comment section.

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