What Will Smartphone Battery Technology Look Like in 10 Years Time?by Yasmita Kumar Journalist
We are living in a world with smartphones. The mobile phone has become one of the most integral items in many people's lives and is especially useful for those who travel often, work remotely, or just need to access information.
Smartphones are not only smartphones anymore; they have become powerful computers that now have our email addresses, physical locations, and contact lists on them as well as apps of every kind. They are no longer simply devices for talking to people you know or using maps to find your way around; phones have quickly transformed into countless digital tools that we use every day.
(Number of smartphone users worldwide from 2016-2026: Statista)
However, these new developments also come with many problems associated with battery technology. The battery is one of many essential things to keep an eye on with new smartphones and technology. On the surface, battery technology has improved dramatically over the years with higher capacity batteries and charging speeds. Still, there is more to consider when it comes to a battery's longevity.
In fact, we are still using lithium-ion batteries with nickel cathodes which were first introduced in 1991. Although they have improved the technology significantly since then, lithium-ion batteries have a limited lifespan and can be damaged by heat or overcharging. Although they have become much better in their capabilities, they are not fool proof and can fail at any time. Fortunately, this is not a problem that is exclusive to smartphones, and there are other more efficient options.
Advancements in battery technology come with new problems. Lithium-ion batteries have an impressive amount of power, but they also have many limitations, making them less than ideal options for longer-term use. We know that batteries degrade over time, and unfortunately, lithium-ion batteries cannot be replaced after the damage has occurred. For example, when a smartphone's battery is damaged due to shock or the simple act of preventing accidental discharge, it can no longer be repaired or replaced by the manufacturer. This means that a smartphone's battery will no longer be able to hold a charge even after repair, and the phone will need to be replaced.
The lithium-ion battery is not the only choice for smartphones either. New technologies are currently being developed to replace lithium-ion batteries altogether, but these are still in development and are unlikely to be available for consumers any time soon. One of these candidates is graphene nanoribbons which have shown great potential as a replacement for lithium-ion batteries because they can store much more power than traditional lithium-ion batteries. For example, graphene nanoribbons can be constructed with a capacity of nearly 100 times higher than the 30 Wh of energy that one standard lithium-ion battery can hold. However, there are still many challenges to overcome before consumers can use this new type of battery in their phones.
For example, researchers continue to improve the manufacturing process and integrate graphene nanoribbons into the construction of a battery to make it commercially viable. Another candidate for batteries' future is sodium-ion batteries that don't degrade but instead release heat when charged.
This means that they have a longer lifespan than other types of batteries and can be safely "recharged" up to 1000 times without any loss of battery power. Sodium-ion batteries are also currently being tested for cars where they would allow electric vehicles to drive longer distances without charging, which would greatly benefit society and the environment.
(Image Source: Ensia)
There has been a shift towards larger devices and smaller batteries for smartphones. For the first time, we will soon be able to have our entire music and video library on our smartphones, introducing 4K screens, large memory capacities, and more processing power. This means that we will only need to charge our phones every 3-4 days rather than several times a day or every day.
While this is a great benefit for most people who lead a busy lifestyle, there are still those who live in areas with bad cell service or those who live in remote areas without easy access to electrical outlets. These people still need a battery that can provide them with all the power they need for whatever they may need it for. We are still utilizing lithium-ion batteries, but new battery technology is on the horizon that will be able to provide much more power to replace our current options.
Naturally, we will begin to see a shift towards graphene nanoribbons and other electrochemical storage technologies like sodium-ion batteries in the next 10 years. This shift will occur because of both the advantages and disadvantages of each type of technology. One advantage that graphene nanoribbons have over lithium-ion batteries is increased durability. Lithium-ion batteries degrade when overcharged or when subjected to excessive heat. This is one of the many reasons that lithium-ion batteries are not ideal for use in smartphones.
One of the disadvantages that graphene nanoribbons have over lithium-ion batteries is that it takes a lot of energy to charge them up, and they can only hold so much power for a long time. This means that graphene nanoribbons will have to charge themselves once or twice and be ready to work full capacity before being used.
Our society is becoming increasingly reliant on smartphones. In the past decade, cell phone technology has improved exponentially, but how far can it really go? Are there any other advances that can be made to enhance the capabilities of our most beloved gadgets?
Created on Jul 29th 2021 11:43. Viewed 142 times.