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Sleeki Insider

Samsung Graphene Ball Battery – New Battery Technology

31st July 2019

Why New Technology is Needed

In recent years we have become more dependent on our phones for all aspects of everyday life. Whether that is for communication and socialising, work reasons, streaming and sharing content, the list goes on…

Not only that, but smartphones have continually improved on their capabilities over recent years which means power is in demand now more than ever.

Sadly, the current battery technology used for smartphones (and even electric vehicles) is not developing at the same pace. The lithium-ion batteries used in today’s smartphones are based on the model developed in the early 1990s. In their current state, they have just about reached their limit for capacity expansion, especially in terms of smartphones that require their batteries to be as thin and compact as possible.

With an increasing need for juice in handheld devices and a pressing need to find environmentally-friendly transport solutions, finding a new type of battery is becoming more important. Luckily, a number of tech companies are already on the case, most notably Samsung and Tesla.

The Samsung Graphene Ball Battery

The Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) and Seoul National University announced their involvement in developing new battery materials back in 2017. The “graphene ball” is reportedly a unique material that gives the battery a 45% increase in energy storage and charging speeds that are 5 times faster than the fast-charging USB ports that are out on the market today.

As a result, these graphene ball batteries are rumoured to have a charging time of just 12 minutes.

Tesla is also rumoured to be developing new battery technologies with speculation this could be graphene-based too, but with a focus on their electric cars, of course. These could then be scaled down for use within the handheld devices we love.

What is Graphene?

Graphene was discovered in 2004 at the University of Manchester. It is a thin, transparent sheet of carbon atoms in a honeycomb pattern derived from graphite (which is used in pencils!).

It’s able to conduct electricity much better than copper, commonly known for its wide-spread use in electrical equipment. In fact, graphene is 100 times more effective according to Samsung. It is also 140 times faster than silicon, making it ideal for fast charging. Graphene is also extremely tough. It is harder than diamond and approximately 200 times stronger than steel (yet six times lighter). Graphene is chemically inert, meaning it is less volatile than its lithium-ion counterparts.

With all these impressive properties, we can see why research on graphene led to a physics Nobel Prize in 2010. It is a big contender for the next generation of fast-charging technologies which encompasses smartphones, electronics, electric cars and more.

The Best is Yet to Come

Industry experts had originally speculated that Samsung’s Galaxy S10 could contain a Samsung graphene ball battery. However, as we now know, this is not the case. Until these graphene batteries become more commercially viable and widespread, it seems we are still reliant on the lithium-ion equivalents. This usually means having a portable charger handy for those moments when there are no sockets, your device is performing a power-heavy task or you are on the go.