Samsung and LG: Reshaping the future for rechargeable mobile batteries
Samsung’s Advanced Institute of Technology unveiled a battery technology in a research paper published in the science journal Nature Communications. The Samsung innovation aims to double the capacity of lithium-ion batteries on a single charge by using a silicon anode with layers of high-crystalline graphene on top.
The Samsung solution involves growing graphene cells directly on the silicon layers to allow for the expansion and contraction of the silicon and increase the battery’s capacity to store two times as much energy as lithium-ion batteries with graphite anodes.
Samsung have anchored the graphene layers onto the silicon surface to accommodate the volume expansion of silicon via a sliding process between adjacent graphene layers. When paired with a commercial lithium cobalt oxide cathode, the silicon carbide-free graphene coating is claimed to allow the full cell to reach volumetric energy densities of 972 and 700 Wh 1-1 at first and 200th cycle, respectively, which is 1.8 and 1.5 times higher than those of current commercial lithium-ion batteries.
The Samsung technology will enable smaller, slimmer batteries to be produced making them ideal for use in powering smartphones, tablets, smartwatches and other wearable devices. Samsung has filed for patents in Korea, China, Europe, and the US.
The chemicals division of LG, LG Chem is also focusing on the burgeoning wearables market by unveiling an Internet of Things battery that challenges the shape of traditional mobile batteries.
LG has opted to do away with using a traditional rectangular or square battery in a round smartwatch and instead developed a hexagonal battery that claims to offer 25 percent more capacity in circular smartwatches. LG Chem claims that the hexagonal battery will offer four more hours on a single charge for these wearables.
Until now, rectangular or square batteries have been favoured in circular smartwatches but the battery shape resulted in a substantial amount of un-utilized space for designers. Although the Apple Watch and Pebble Time are both rectangular in shape there is now an increasing number of Android Wear smartwatches featuring circular designs.
The hexagonal shape utilizes the space under a circular watch face more efficiently. The hexagon-shaped battery is part of LG Chem’s ‘free form battery’ business which is using proprietary patented ‘stack and folding’ technology to develop small batteries in a number of different shapes.
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