Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Running out of power?, get charged in seconds

It has been a dream in most of the billion dollar companies where they produce short-term power supplying devices like Battery, Ups and Rechargeable Batteries. Now the professor Gerbrand of MIT and his graduate student make this dream come true. Usually it will take hours to charge up a battery pack, but by this method it will reduced to few seconds, by tweaking a material already being used in lithium-ion batteries to cut the time down to a fraction of the usual wait. This process involves processing lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) in an unusual way. The tweak has the potential to change the way we use gizmos ranging from mobile phones and laptops to plug-in electric vehicles over the next couple of years. These batteries have been mainly targeted for use in a variety of plug-in vehicles, but when comes to taking in and pushing out electrical energy the batteries become sluggish in its shortcoming. There was no intrinsic reason why the ions should be moving so slowly through the battery's energy-storing material. The problem was that the ions had to move in specific directions across the surface of the material in order to enter nanoscale "tunnels" leading into the material itself. It was as if the ions had to follow a maze of surface streets to enter a transit tunnel.

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