Samsung's new ‘graphene ball’ battery material allows for five times faster charging than lithium-ion batteries

Samsung's new graphene ball material, which will replace lithium-ion batteries also enables a 45 percent increase in capacity.

Samsung has announced that it has developed a new battery material, one that it has been researching on for a couple of years now. A team of researchers from the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) have developed what they call a ‘graphene ball’, a new and unique battery material that holds an increased capacity and will also allow for much faster charging.

Samsung's Graphene Ball battery material. Image: SAIT

Samsung's Graphene Ball battery material. Image: SAIT

The new graphene ball battery material with its faster charge rate, is expected to find applications in both mobile devices and electric vehicles.

Samsung and batteries are two things that don’t really go well together, especially after the Galaxy Note 7’s caught fire, not too long ago. Those paranoid about their smartphone batteries catching fire may be in a bit of a shock as SAIT collaborated closely with Samsung SDI (that was partially responsible for the Note 7 fires) and the Seoul National University’s School of Chemical and Biological Engineering (no problems here).

But since we haven’t heard of any explosions related to Samsung’s newer devices, let’s go a bit easier on them shall we?

Samsung in its post said that in theory, a battery made from the same can be charged in just 12 minutes instead of a whole hour that a similar sized lithium-ion battery takes to charge.

There is another advantage as well. The battery made with the graphene ball material can maintain a stable 60 degree celsius temperature. This is an important criteria when it comes to electric vehicles.

There is a complete research paper available on Nature Communications. The official post points out Samsung’s reasons for approaching graphene:

“SAIT sought for an approach to apply graphene, a material with high strength and conductivity to batteries, and discovered a mechanism to mass synthesize graphene into a 3D form like popcorn using affordable silica (SiO2). This “graphene ball” was utilized for both the anode protective layer and cathode materials in lithium-ion batteries. This ensured an increase of charging capacity, decrease of charging time as well as stable temperatures.”

Dr. Son In-hyuk, who led the project on behalf of SAIT, said, “Our research enables mass synthesis of multifunctional composite material graphene at an affordable price. At the same time, we were able to considerably enhance the capabilities of lithium-ion batteries in an environment where the markets for mobile devices and electric vehicles is growing rapidly. Our commitment is to continuously explore and develop secondary battery technology in light of these trends.”

Samsung has been working with graphene as an alternative for the standard lithium-ion battery material for long. In an older report, Samsung claimed it was interested in graphene as it is more durable than steel and has high heat conductibility and flexibility. Indeed this also makes graphene batteries the perfect fit for flexible wearable devices and may even flexible smartphones (Project Valley anyone?).

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