New battery type claims 30-second phone charging

A battery that can charge in under 30 seconds has been shown off at a technology conference in Tel Aviv. Israeli start-up StoreDot displayed the device – made of biological structures – at Microsoft’s Think Next Conference. A Samsung S4 smartphone went from a dead battery to full power in 26 seconds in the demonstration.

The battery is currently only a prototype and the firm predicts it will take three years to become a commercially viable product. In the demonstration, a battery pack the size of a cigarette packet was attached to a smartphone.

However, the press releases from e.g. BBC and are not very informative when it comes to the actual technology. “Quantum Dots” are not as such a new technology and it is hard to imagine a battery purely based on intercalation in these having a high energy density.

As mentioned on, one can’t help wonder if the technology is related to this patent: “Quantum dot ultracapacitor and electron battery”.

If so, the bulky battery displayed in the video might be classified more correctly as an ultracapacitor or supercapacitor, ie. a device storing an electrical charge. The charge in such a device is stored between two electrically conductive plates, and to provide a high capacity the plates must have a high surface area and be very close to each other. The use of quantum dots would probably provide such a high surface area of the plates through small scale roughening effects.

StoreDot themselves support this theory when they mention the following on their homepage: “StoreDot’s technology for energy storage can be applied in batteries for mobile devices, providing a sustainable solution that can replace lithium-ion batteries. Due to the size of StoreDot nanodots, the electrode capacitance is increased, resulting in next-generation batteries and super-capacitors that can be fully charged in minutes rather than hours.”

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