A team of researchers from Rice University and Lockheed Martin have found that silicon nanopores (micron-sized pores on top of silicon wafers) can increase lithium-ion battery capacity by 10 times. Since silicon has the highest theoretical capacity for storing lithium of any material, the discovery could lead to super-long lasting batteries.

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The research isn’t unprecedented — earlier this year, MIT researchers found that carbon nanotubes could boost the power of lithium ion batteries by 10 times. The new silicon nanopores, however, are stronger and easier to create. They also last a long time — up to 200-250 charge and discharge cycles.

The silicon nanopore-containing lithium ion batteries are still a long way off, however. But ultimately, the researchers believe that their method could extend the lifespan of batteries used in everything from electric vehicles to laptops.

Via EurekaAlert