The EMPA, Short for Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, is an internationally renowned Swiss research institute specializing in materials science and technology. For years he has dedicated himself to the development of innovative solutions (that we follow) in various sectors, including energy. Today, EMPA researchers have taken a significant step forward in the field of rechargeable batteries, developing a slim battery that is not only safer and more durable than conventional lithium batteries, but also more environmentally sustainable.
This innovation promises to dramatically reduce charging times, leading to profound implications for a wide range of electronic devices, from mobile phones to electric cars.
The revolution of slim rechargeable batteries
Energy is the engine of our modern world. From the moment we wake up in the morning until we turn off the lights at night, we are constantly surrounded by energy-hungry devices. And in this scenario, batteries play a crucial role. But not all batteries are created equal.
Lithium-ion batteries, for example, have become the industry standard for nearly all electronic devices. However, they are not without flaws. Their capacity decreases with each charge and discharge cycle, and they are sensitive to changes in temperature. btry (pronounced "Battery"), an EMPA spin-off company, promises to change all that. Its slimline batteries are rechargeable in just one minute, much more resistant to sudden changes in temperature and, more importantly, they are non-flammable.
A leap into the future
The secret of this technology is in the precision. Imagine you want to build a wall out of LEGO bricks, but each brick is made of a special material and needs to be placed in a specific order. The EMPA researchers used a technique called "vacuum coating," which works a bit like a super-advanced 3D printer. Instead of plastic, it sprays tiny particles in perfect layers over a base. A more expensive process than traditional ones, but in the end you get a battery that has several advantages over current rechargeable ones.
We are still in the early stages of development (I'll link the search here), thin-film cells have a small surface capacity and are therefore limited to applications with low energy requirements, such as smart cards, medical devices and small sensors for IoT applications. But the potential is huge. There's not every reason to believe that these thin batteries won't become an industry standard. In the near future our devices will undoubtedly be more efficient, and maybe (ready? I'm going to use the modern mantra, don't mind) more sustainable. Our electric car will recharge while we make a quick stop at the café, or simply wait on board. Our smartphone will be back to 100% in the time it takes us to place it on a bedside table and stretch.
Am I exaggerating? Maybe. Matter of time.