Most modern consumer electronics run on lithium ion rechargeable batteries. Lithium ion batteries were well received by tech manufacturers and consumers alike as LI batteries technology were a huge step up from the previously used nickel-cadmium alternative. Nickel-cadmium batteries not only held less power but were also more limiting in capacity as they suffered from problems such as “charge memory”, a problem where unplugging a device early could cause it to only charge up until that point in future charge cycles.

Almost everything runs on lithium ion batteries nowadays. They’re better in just about every way imaginable: no charge memory, higher capacity, less overheating, etc. Except, as our devices get slimmer and more powerful, battery manufacturers find themselves struggling to keep up with the changes. Battery technology could only be tweaked so much – and as other components continued to shrink, battery size remained fairly constant. This placed restrictions on how small devices like smart phones could get. Sacrificing battery size for a smaller form factor meant sacrificing already-scarce hours of battery usage.

One problem we’ve seen exponentially get worse and worse in recent years has been battery life in smart phones. Gone are the days of feature phones when one could plug in their phone on Sunday and use it for 7 days without needing more juice. Now, we’re lucky to get through a whole day without our phones shutting off on us.

Luckily for us, researchers at Nanyang Technology University have developed new lithium ion batteries that can reach a 70% charge in only two minutes. That charge alone could then last for over 20 years – several times longer than the what the cells in your current laptop and smartphone are capable of. The secret to their breakthrough lies in their usage of titanium dioxide nanotubes for the anode instead of using ordinary graphite. These new batteries should last 10,000 charge cycles instead of the usual 500.

If these batteries reach the market, this could drastically change technology as we know it.

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