MIT and Samsung uncover solution to dying batteries

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Samsung have joined forces to make solid state batteries that could last forever, with a capacity of between 20 and 30 per cent more than standard power packs.

The batteries replace the liquid electrolyte found in standard batteries with solid matter, meaning they may be able to last an indefinite' amount of time, and are much harder to destroy or damage compared to traditional batteries.

MIT thinks the innovation will be a game changer for the electronics market, solving one of the biggest technology problems of modern times - waning battery life.

Additionally, the batteries have the potential to increase safety by removing the possibility of them exploding, while they will also be cheaper to produce.

Visiting professor of materials science and engineering Gerbrand Ceder, who developed the tech alongside MIT student Yan Wang and five others, said: "All of the fires you've seen, with Boeing, Tesla, and others, they are all electrolyte fires. The lithium itself is not flammable in the state it's in in these batteries. [With a solid electrolyte] there's no safety problem you could throw it against the wall, drive a nail through it there's nothing there to burn."

The new batteries could be used in almost any application, including to power smartphones and even larger products such as electric cars.

"The quality of this work is top-tier," added Ying Shirley Meng, an associate professor of nanoengineering at the University of California at San Diego. "The team has a long, outstanding track record in computational materials science, and they succeeded again in providing the battery and materials communities new scientific insights to push the fields forward."

Another benefits of the batteries are that they can endure cold temperatures, too.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.