Revolutionary battery technology can power everything from electric vehicles to smartphones.

Researchers have created a battery that can fully charge in mere seconds.

A team from South Korea achieved this breakthrough with next-generation sodium batteries, which are more affordable and safer than the traditional lithium-ion batteries used in smartphones and electric cars.

Sodium (Na) is 500 times more abundant than lithium and has the potential for greater charge and efficiency compared to its Li-ion counterpart. Until now, Na-ion batteries have faced challenges that hindered their widespread adoption, such as long charging times and limited storage capacity.

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Researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have overcome these challenges by developing a high-energy, high-power sodium-ion battery capable of rapid charging.

They accomplished this by integrating materials typically used in batteries with those suitable for supercapacitors, which are applied in everything from regenerative braking systems in electric cars to adjusting the pitch of wind turbine rotor blades.

The new battery surpasses the energy density of commercial lithium-ion batteries and can be used in both electric vehicles and consumer electronics.

“The hybrid sodium-ion energy storage device is capable of rapid charging and achieves an energy density of 247 Wh/kg and a power density of 34,748 W/kg,” said Professor Jeung Ku Kang from KAIST’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, who led the research.

“It represents a breakthrough in overcoming the current limitations of energy storage systems,” he added, anticipating that it would have “broader applications across various electronic devices,” he said.

The journal Energy Storage Materials published the research under the title “Low-crystallinity conductive multivalence iron sulfide-embedded S-doped anode and high-surface area O-doped cathode of 3D porous N-rich graphitic carbon frameworks for high-performance sodium-ion hybrid energy storages.”

The breakthrough occurred shortly after Japanese researchers uncovered a new method for mass-producing solid-state sodium batteries.

sodium battery for evs
Charging modern electric cars from stations outdoors

The new technology has the potential to alleviate range anxiety by substantially enhancing the charging capacity of electric car batteries, potentially more than doubling the range of current electric vehicles.

With these advancements, the future of energy storage looks promising. As researchers continue to push the boundaries of battery technology, we move closer to a world where electric vehicles and consumer electronics are more efficient, reliable, and environmentally friendly. The era of rapid charging and extended battery life is just around the corner, promising to revolutionize our everyday lives and the technologies we rely on.

About KAIST

KAIST is Korea’s premier science and technology university, renowned for pioneering advancements in science, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Our graduates have played crucial roles in driving Korea. KAIST remains dedicated to pushing the boundaries of scientific and technological progress while contributing to the economic development of Korea and beyond.

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