University of Missouri researchers develop new material that could increase battery life

Science / Tech
University of Missouri

The researchers at the University of Missouri say this honeycomb material has magnetic properties that can address heat and life issues in batteries.

Battery life sucks. That’s a common complaint from users of battery powered devices such as smartphones and tablets. University of Missouri researchers have heard your plea and have developed a new material to help. The researchers at the University of Missouri say this honeycomb material has magnetic properties that can address heat and life issues in batteries.

“Semiconductor diodes and amplifiers, which often are made of silicon or germanium, are key elements in modern electronic devices,” said Singh, who also serves as the principal investigator of the Magnetism and Superconductivity Research Laboratory at MU. “A diode normally conducts current and voltage through the device along only one biasing direction, but when the voltage is reversed, the current stops. This switching process costs significant energy due to dissipation, or the depletion of the power source, thus affecting battery life. By substituting the semiconductor with a magnetic system, we believed we could create an energetically effective device that consumes much less power with enhanced functionalities.”

The University of Missouri team “developed a two-dimensional, nanostructured material created by depositing a magnetic alloy, or permalloy, on the honeycomb structured template of a silicon surface. The new material conducts unidirectional current or currents that only flow one way. The material also has significantly less dissipative power compared to a semiconducting diode, which is normally included in electronic devices.”

University of Missouri

The left shows the atomic force micrograph, exhibiting honeycomb structure pattern behind a magnetic device. Inset shows the schematic of current flow direction. On the right: electrical data reveals diode-type behavior of current flowing in one direction. Inset shows that the dissipative power is of the order of nano-watt in the current flowing direction, which is at least three orders of magnitude smaller than the semiconductor diode. Credit: Deepak Singh

“Although more works need to be done to develop the end product, the device could mean that a normal 5-hour charge could increase to more than a 500-hour charge,” Singh said. “The device could also act as an ‘on/off switch’ for other periphery components such as closed-circuit cameras or radio frequency attenuators, which reduces power flowing through a device. We have applied for a U.S. patent and have begun the process of incorporating a spin-off company to help us take the device to market.”

Any sort of battery research that can prolong the life of our devices is welcome. Click the link below to find out more about Deepak K. Singh and his team at the University of Missouri.

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  Source: MUNews
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