Scientists at MIT have developed a new design for lithium batteries that could cut recharge times down to seconds. Traditional lithium batteries dispense power slowly, but also charge slowly because of perceived limitations in the lithium itself. However, the team at MIT found that the problem lies not in the lithium, but in the substrate around it, according to a paper (PDF) published in Nature. The team, led by Gerbrand Ceder, the Richard P. Simmons Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT, and Byoungwoo Kang, a graduate student in materials science and engineering, has created a battery that can be fully charged and discharged in under 20 seconds.
The ability to charge and discharge batteries in a matter of seconds rather than hours may open up new technological applications and induce lifestyle changes, Ceder and Kang concluded in the paper. The team believe that the new technology could be available in two or three years, because it is based around the commonly used lithium battery.