Samsung Graphene Ball Battery Tech Could Charge Your Galaxy Smartphone 5x Faster

Mobile device makers have been using lithium-ion batteries for close to three decades now, and at some point, something better will come along. Samsung hopes to be the one to introduce it. Researchers at the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) have developed a unique battery material that is capable of charging mobile devices five times faster than standard lithium-ion batteries, while also enabling a 45 percent increase in capacity.

As with many promising battery technologies we have heard about over the years, this one involves graphene. Samsung's approach has been a little different, though, in that it discovered a mechanism to mass synthesize graphene into a 3D form like popcorn using affordable silica (SiO2). The result is a "graphene ball" material that, in battery form, takes only 12 minutes to fully charge. On top of that, the battery can maintain a highly stable 60C, which makes it viable for use in electric vehicles as well as mobile devices.

Graphene Ball
Image Source: Samsung

"Our research enables mass synthesis of multifunctional composite material graphene at an affordable price. At the same time, we were able to considerably enhance the capabilities of lithium-ion batteries in an environment where the markets for mobile devices and electric vehicles is growing rapidly. Our commitment is to continuously explore and develop secondary battery technology in light of these trends," project leader Dr. Son In-hyuk said.

Researchers have been enamored with graphene for over a decade. It is a form of carbon that consists of a sheet of tightly packed atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. Graphene is able to efficiently conduct heat and electricity, and is so thin that it is often referred to as a two-dimensional material. In battery form, graphene could lead to thinner and lighter smartphones with higher battery capacity and much faster charging times.

While we have been hearing about graphene for a long time now, Samsung believes its breakthrough holds promise for the next generation of mobile devices and electric vehicles. it has filed two applications for its graphene ball technology in the United States and Korea.