The University of Tokyo and University of Kyoto have uncovered a new electrolyte that can be used with Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. Li-ion batteries are ubiquitous across laptops and smartphones because of their low discharge rates and high energy density. However, this new electrolyte mixture, which features a solvent four times more concentrated than those currently used in Li-ion batteries, could cut charing times by about a third. Li-ion batteries featuring the new electrolyte would also provide more electric power per unit time, and bump the voltage of traditional Li-ion batteries from 3.8V to 5V.
While most of us would love a smartphone that charges in one third the time, the focus of the Japanese universities’ research has actually been on applications in the automotive industry. However, it’s safe to assume that success with a new automotive Li-ion battery would soon trickle into our mobile devices.