PhD student Mya Le Thai, who is currently studying at the University of California, has found a way by accident how to extend battery life to 400 years.
Mya used gold nanowires and coated them with a very thin electrolyte gel layer and started to cycle it. “She discovered that just by using this gel, she could cycle it hundreds of thousands of times without losing any capacity.” Which is incredible because normally any battery dies after 5,000 or 6,000 or 7,000 cycles at most. Moreover, after numerous charge cycles, the nanowires didn’t have any unusual cracks and the battery capacity didn’t degrade.
Such batteries could be perfect to power our smartphones or laptops. But as the nanowires are made of gold it would cost manufacturers a pretty penny to include them in phone batteries. So, we shouldn’t expect them on the market any time soon.