Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, have accidentally created a battery that can last 400 times more than current batteries. According to a report by Science Hook, researchers were initially looking for a solid-state battery that used an electrolyte gel instead of lithium to hold its charge. Not only is lithium combustible and sensitive to temperature, but over time, lithium batteries wear down as they are recharged multiple times. Instead of lithium, researchers experimented with using gold nanowires suspended in electrolyte gel to store electricity. They noted that the current system cycled through 200,000 cycles without showing any significant corrosion or decline. By comparison, current batteries last for about 7,000 cycles.
While the use of nanowires in batteries is not new, the ones used in current lithium batteries are fragile, and prone to breaking after multiple recharges. So current batteries are designed to go through a fixed number of cycles. A single cycle is the equivalent of a battery being completely drained. By coating these nanowires in a shell and a gel, the researchers managed to prevent them from growing brittle. During testing, the new battery managed to go through 200,000 charged over a period of three months. During that time, the team did not notice any decline in the charge capacity or any damage within the battery.