In a path breaking research, some scientists, with the help of a new technology, have successful augmented the operating life of lithium ion batteries 10 folds. In these highly efficient batteries, silicon nanowires are used as a replacement for carbon electrodes to store lithium ions in the anode. Silicon has the ability to store more ions than carbon. The anode of the battery can absorb the lithium without any damage with the help of silicon nanowires. On account of storing a vast quantity of ions, silicon expands (to almost four times its original size) while the battery is charged and it contracts when the battery is in use. Unfortunately, though the nanowires remain intact without any rupture, such frequent expansion and contraction destroys the anode completely within a short span of battery life. One advantage of these batteries is that they can be useful in storing electricity during idle hours. These batteries with amplified lifespan also have the potential to power portable electronic goods such as laptops. If earlier, a laptop operated just for 2 hours after being unplugged from the power source, using these new batteries, it can now last for 20 hours. An added benefit is that these batteries can possibly store more energy than a gas tank used to power electric automobiles.
It is expected to take another 15-20 years time before these new generation batteries are marketed, used in manufacturing sectors and eventually applied in designing and producing cars. To what extent this revolutionary technology will be successfully implemented to cater to and improve human needs in future, is yet to be seen.