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Samsung's graphene batteries promise to charge five times faster – without exploding

Chaebol says development is done and dusted

Samsung Mobile (or at least a fan blog) has claimed development of its graphene battery technology is, er, all wrapped up, raising hopes of finding them in products soon.

SamsungMobile.News helpfully tweeted yesterday:


However, when Twitter user @Toapz not unduly asked whether the company was ready to mass-produce them, the PFY on the social media desk responded:


Anyway, what we do know is that researchers at the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology have developed a graphene ball coating – work they described in Nature Communications last November (summary).

The paper described "a graphene–silica (SiOx) assembly, called a graphene ball (GB), as a coating material for high-capacity Ni-rich layered cathode materials as well as an LIB anode material". The boffins also noted that introducing new materials into the battery process is not straightforward.

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The graphene ball coating should pave the way for much faster charging – a fivefold increase to 12 minutes, rather than an hour, while maintaining a safe temperature. That's a problem Samsung encountered in a very public way two years ago. However, as the researchers observed, there was some way to go to maintaining the capacity of the battery: it was down to 78.6 per cent after 500 cycles.

In 2015, Samsung suggested the work was three years away from commercial use. Arch-rival Huawei disclosed details of a graphene-assisted Li-ion battery with base stations as a suggested use. Last week it claimed the first commercial deployment of the material in a commercial phone battery, using the material to cool the battery during intensive gaming sessions.

A radically different use of graphene in a storage cell, a supercapacitor, is also being trialled. Here's one you can make yourself.

The Register has asked Samsung to comment. ®

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