Stanford Researchers Develop Self-Healing Battery with a Longer Life Span


Published Date : Nov 20, 2013

The gadgets we use today are becoming more sophisticated by the day. Sadly, the same cannot be said about the power sources that are used for charging these gadgets in use, making us more dependent on our chargers than we would like. This lament could soon be a thing of the past if a breakthrough battery with an innovative ‘self-healing’ coating proves successful on the mass scale. This coating could significantly prolong the life of the battery, thus eliminating the need for frequent charging. 

The University explained its new project in a recent press release. According to officials, these batteries feature a ‘stretchy polymer’ that is used for coating and binding the electrode so as to act as a spontaneous healing mechanism for tiny cracks as they develop. This method address the issue at the root, as batteries primarily deteriorate because they swell when charged and shrink as they discharge. This contraction and expansion causes the battery material to become brittle, and ultimately develop cracks. When coated with a special polymer that comprises carbon nanoparticles, the tiny cracks can be repaired in a matter of hours, the press release from Stanford stated. 

According to scientists working on the project, this is much in line with the natural self-repairing and self-healing properties of plants and animals. The better these properties, the longer is the expected lifespan of a living thing. By using this feature in lithium ion batteries, scientists hope to thus extend the lifespan of these indispensible new-age power sources.

If successful, this breakthrough would be a boon not just to the electronics industry, but also to the automobile industry that has been showing a growing inclination towards battery-powered electric vehicles that are more environment-friendly. 

However, given that this battery still needs to undergo several stages of development and testing, we would still have to keep those plug-in chargers handy.