Scientists Made a Nearly Invincible Lithium-Ion Battery
This new type of battery can be cut, bent, soaked, shot, and lit on fire—and it still powers up just fine.
Lithium-ion batteries have shaped the modern world. These power pouches are at the heart of most rechargeable electronics, from cell phones and laptops to vapes and electric cars. But while they’re great at holding a charge and have a high energy density, lithium-ion batteries aren’t without their problems. Their reliance on toxic, flammable materials means the smallest defect can result in exploding gadgets.
A team of researchers led by physicists at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory believed a safer battery was possible, and for the past five years they have been developing a lithium-ion battery that’s seemingly immune to failure. The rugged battery they first unveiled in 2017, working with researchers at the University of Maryland, can be cut, shot, bent, and soaked without an interruption in power. Late last year, the Johns Hopkins team pushed it further, making it fireproof and boosting its voltages to levels comparable with a commercial product. Samsung, eat your heart out.