NTU team develops battery that gives ultra-fast charge

NTU team develops battery that gives ultra-fast charge
(From left) NTU’s Prof Chen Xiaodong supervising research fellow Tang Yuxin and PhD student Deng Jiyang as they make a prototype battery. Besides enabling super-fast charges, the advanced lithium-ion batteries (Top left) can be recharged 10,000 times, which means they can last over 20 years.

Plug your cellphone in and get a 70 per cent recharge in just two minutes. Sounds impossible?

Scientists at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have developed an ultra-fast charge battery that could make this a reality within two years.

Laboratory tests showed that the advanced lithium-ion battery can also be recharged 10,000 times, which means it can last more than 20 years, compared with current rechargeable lithium-ion ones that typically last two to three years.

The scientists' work was published in international scientific journal Advanced Materials last month, and the technology is being licensed to a multinational company for eventual production.

The scientists declined to name the firm due to confidentiality agreements, but said they intend to apply for a proof-of-concept grant soon to build a large- scale prototype.

Associate Professor Chen Xiaodong from NTU's School of Materials Science and Engineering said the new battery could have an impact on a wide range of industries, including electric vehicles.

"Electric cars will be able to increase their range dramatically with just five minutes of charging, which is on a par with the time needed to pump petrol for conventional cars," he said.

The 10,000-cycle life of the new battery also means that the drivers would save on battery replacement costs.

The battery replaces the graphite - a form of carbon - used in one part with a new gel made of titanium dioxide. 

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