Smartphones and portable electronic devices are omnipresent in the world we live in today. We rely heavily on these gadgets to complete a wide range of daily tasks from simple reminders and calendar events to more complex assignments and applications as powerful business tools. At some point in the day, we will find ourselves rushing around a room searching for a plug or USB socket as a cable dangles from our hands because the lithium-ion batteries that currently power our devices still only hold a limited charge.
However, frustrations such as this could soon be a thing of the past. According to the reliable tech-tipster Evan Blass, Samsung is gearing up to a 2021 launch of their usually hotly anticipated Galaxy series to come equipped with a more efficient longer-lasting graphene battery.
On Monday, Evan Blass tweeted, "Samsung is hoping to have at least one handset either next year or in 2021, I'm told, which will feature a graphene battery instead.”
Capable of a full charge in under a half-hour, they still need to raise capacities while lowering costs.
Graphene batteries are believed to be the optimal solution and alternative to the current generation of lithium-ion batteries on the market. With higher electrical and heat conductivity compared to lithium-ion solutions, graphene is also superior due to its lightweight, flexible and durable qualities. For these reasons, we can begin to understand why graphene has been hailed as a ‘wonder material’.
So, what would be the benefits of using the material graphene as an alternative to lithium-ion in battery packs?
Slimline solutions: having already discussed how graphene is lightweight, we should also consider that when you stack 3 million layers of this material, it only amounts to 1 mm of thickness. This could mean that manufacturers can place small high-capacity batteries in devices to reduce the overall size of the device for compactness or enhance other capabilities and overall performance.
Faster charging times: this increases the battery endurance compared to lithium-ion batteries as the conductivity capabilities of graphene offers little to no resistance to the flow of electrons.
Reduced thermal output: because of its ability to dissipate heat much more effectively, graphene can reduce the operating temperature of smart devices. This means better performance and safety when charging or operating the device for complex tasks or gaming.
These may be of particular interest to a company like Samsung who have previously been affected by battery issues, particularly concerning the overheating issues of the Note7 back in 2016. This led to Samsung implementing an eight-point inspection process for batteries as well as stepping up its research into battery technology, making significant progress in recent years.
We need only look back to 2017 when Samsung revealed its researchers developed a “graphene ball” material capable of five times faster-charging speeds than standard lithium-ion batteries. Coupled with Blass’s latest claims, it is plausible to expect that we will see graphene batteries go mainstream within the next couple of years.
With products likely restricted to select smartphones and smart devices initially, we can also anticipate further developments on other applications for graphene in the coming years. For example, Tesla are showing interest in metal-air batteries which utilize a graphene rod as a cathode. These types of battery can increase battery efficiency up to five times at just one-third of the cost and because of the greater abundance of carbon, compared to a rare metal like lithium, manufacturers will continue to research its potential as they have been trying to implement the use of graphene as a material in about everything since its discovery in 2004.
So, it would suffice to say that graphene batteries are definitely set to be a game-changer and put an end to panicked searches for a place to charge devices or carrying around multiple charging packs to get through a busy day.