LONDON Researchers in South Korea have developed a silicon-based material for rechargeable batteries which they say can run mobile phones, cameras and laptops for much longer, and could be a potential replacement for lithium ion batteries, according to a report from Reuters .
Writing in the international edition of the journal Angewandte Chemie, a team led by Jaephil Cho at Hanyang University in South Korea said silicon could be a feasible substitute for graphite.
They did concede that silicon comes with its own problems as it expands too much when being charged and shrinks when discharging energy. Thin silicon layers are also no longer useable after several cycles.
To get around this, the researchers used heat treatment to create what turned out to be carbon-coated silicon crystals that were three-dimensional and highly porous.
"This highly porous silicon has a high charge capacity for lithium ions," the scientists wrote.