Highly charged

Could very porous silicon help lithium batteries keep our beloved digital devices running longer between recharges? A team led by Jaephil Cho at Hanyang University in Korea has developed a novel material for the anode of so-called lithium-ion batteries that could boost charging capacity significantly extending the talk-time of cellphones, allowing laptop commuters to work longer, and keep mp3 players playing. Lithium batteries produce are charged by shuffling lithium ions into the anode, which is usually made from graphite, but this material does not have as big an appetite for the metal ions as porous silicon prepared in such a way as to resist the stresses and strains of the annealing process to which conventional silicon would succumb, Cho and colleagues have found.