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Recently, the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT), which is the company's research arm developed "graphene ball," a unique battery material that enables a 45% increase in capacity, and five times faster charging speeds than standard lithium-ion batteries.
Currently, most of the mobile devices use the lithium-ion batteries, which were first commercialized in the year 1991. However, the standard lithium-ion battery comes with some disadvantages such as requiring at least an hour to get fully charged, even with quick charging technology. Also, it is believed that the lithium batteries have reached their limit for capacity expansion. So there have been many attempts to explore the use of new innovative materials.
Among the materials looked at, graphene has widely become the primary source of interest as the representative next-generation material due to its physical and chemical stability. Just to make you aware, Graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms from graphite.
Graphene is 100 times more effective than copper in conducting electricity and displays remarkable electron mobility - 140 times faster than silicon - which makes it an ideal material for fast charge.
In theory, a battery based on the "graphene ball" material requires only 12 minutes to get fully charged. Additionally, the battery can maintain a highly stable 60 degree Celsius temperature, which is more relevant for electrical vehicles.
In its research, SAIT sought for an approach to apply graphene, a material with high strength and conductivity to batteries and discovered a mechanism to mass synthesize graphene into a 3D form like popcorn using affordable silica (SiO2).
This "graphene ball" was utilized for both the anode protective layer and cathode materials in lithium-ion batteries. This ensured an increase of charging capacity, decrease of charging time as well as stable temperatures.
Dr. Son In-hyuk, who led the project on behalf of SAIT, said, "Our research enables mass synthesis of multifunctional composite material graphene at an affordable price. At the same time, we were able to considerably enhance the capabilities of lithium-ion batteries in an environment where the markets for mobile devices and electric vehicles is growing rapidly. Our commitment is to continuously explore and develop secondary battery technology in light of these trends."
SAIT's research results are covered in-depth in this month's edition of the science journal Nature Communications in an article entitled, "Graphene balls for lithium rechargeable batteries with fast charging and high volumetric energy densities."SAIT has also filed two applications for the "graphene ball" technology patent in the US and Korea.