Advanced Lithium/Sulfur Cells Developed for Smartphone Batteries

Advanced LithiumSulfur Cell Developed for Smartphone Batteries


The most commonly used Smartphone batteries are Lithium-ion-based (Li-Ion). Some variations of this type of battery also exist like the Li-Po or the Lithium-ion Polymer used by the iPhone 5. But a new battery that runs on lithium and sulfur cells might become a game-changer in the future.

According to a new report from Gizmag, a new kind of battery has been discovered. This new material is made up of advanced Lithium/Sulfur cells and is known with the abbreviation Li/S. The revolutionary invention was made by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Advantages of Li/S Cells for Smartphone Batteries

Based on the news, the advanced Li/S offers a unique combination of enhanced power, faster recharge speed, more durability and increased energy capacity.

Gizmag explained that the increased energy-storage capacity is made possible by the two electrons produced each time a molecule is processed through the battery’s structure. Then, its composition of lithium anode, carbon-sulfur cathode and electrolyte enables it to produce approximately 1.7 to 2.5 volts depending on the charge state of the cell. The voltage produced is double the amount of current that the usual Li-Ion battery gives off.

Looking at the advantages stated by the report, Smartphone batteries with Li/S cells will surely address one of the top Smartphone problems users which is related to the quick draining of the battery.

Disadvantages of Li/S Cells for Smartphone Batteries

Despite the huge breakthrough, there were some issues that came along with the invention of the advanced Li/S cells.

Among the key problems encountered had to do with the sulfur reaction which provides too much mechanical stress on the cathode. This problem would result to a quick mechanical deterioration which reduces the contact between the carbon and sulfur where the electrons pass through. In addition, this prevents the proper flow of lithium ions to the sulfur surface, the source pointed out.

Another issue seen is that the lithium and sulfur takes some time to react in order to form Li2S. Many other problems were seen such as the quick roughening of the lithium anode surface after receiving a huge charge or discharge of currents.

How the Issues were Addressed

The Lawrence Berkeley team addressed the problems connected to Li/S cells by putting a nanocomposite cathode made up of sulfur-graphene oxide nanocomposite which is bound by elastic polymer binder. Overall, the add-on resulted to an increased performance of the battery as well as balanced temperature, conductivity and viscosity.

To sum it all up, if it is true that all the problems initially encountered by scientists during the discovery of the Li/S have already been addressed, the advantages that an advanced Li/S battery could bring about could be very beneficial for rechargeable computing devices especially Smartphones and tablets.

Source: Gizmag

Recommended Reading

You can read more about Smartphone batteries in the article titled, “How to Choose a Smartphone Guide: Battery Life.