We know exactly how it feels when you're trying to squeeze the last bit of juice out of your phone until the screen goes blank and it dies. Next comes the agonising wait for it to turn back on. But that could soon be a thing of the past.
A team of American scientists claim to have developed a revolutionary new technology that can charge smartphones in 60 seconds.
The high-performance aluminium battery offers “unprecedented charging times” say researchers at Stanford University in California, which successfully charged a smartphone in one minute, compared to current lithium-ion batteries commonly used in mobile phones and laptops, which take hours to complete a full charge.
While current batteries typically last for 1,000 charges before deteriorating and losing capacity, the new technology also offers a longer lifetime, withstanding more than 7,500 charges before showing signs of wear.
It's also affordable to make, bendable and highly durable. When researchers drilled a hole through the prototype, it continued to work.
Hongjie Dai, a professor of chemistry at Stanford University, hailed it as a breakthrough in battery technology in the journal Nature, saying: "We have developed a rechargeable aluminium battery that may replace existing storage devices, such as alkaline batteries, which are bad for the environment, and lithium-ion batteries, which occasionally burst into flames."
"This was the first time an ultra-fast aluminium-ion battery was constructed with stability over thousands of cycles," he added.
The only snag with the new invention is that it carries only half of the voltage required to power a smartphone, but researchers believe improvements to the material could increase voltage and energy density.
"Otherwise, our battery has everything else you'd dream that a battery should have," said Dai. "inexpensive electrodes, good safety, high-speed charging, flexibility and long cycle life. I see this as a new battery in its early days. It's quite exciting."