The importance of mobile phones in the daily lives of human beings can’t be denied. Their prevalence is primarily due to their efficient utility and portability, which is enabled by a compact and strong battery. To satisfy the rising demands of smartphone consumers, its battery technology is continuously evolving. In recent years, there have been numerous advancements in rechargeable batteries for mobile phones leading to increased battery life and efficiency.
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A Brief History of Mobile Phone Battery Technology
Mobile phone battery technology has evolved tremendously throughout the years. A research article published in InfoMat (Willey) has presented a thorough overview of the technological evolutions of the battery. As per the research, 1983 was a significant year as it saw the release of Motorola’s DynaTac 8000X, which employed a Ni-Cd battery with a modest 500mAh capacity.
Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries substituted NiCd batteries in the 1990s. NiMH batteries had an improved power density and were more environmentally friendly than NiCd batteries. Nevertheless, NiMH batteries were susceptible to the memory effect, which diminished their efficiency over time.
The transition period between 1998 and 2000 led to the substitution of NiMH batteries with Lithium Ion batteries. The energy density of Li-ion batteries was significantly greater than that of NiMH batteries, and they were immune to the memory effect. Li-ion batteries are the most common form of battery used in mobile phones today.
Solid State Batteries – A Novel Battery Innovation
Solid-state batteries have been viewed as prospective future technologies for energy storage mainly due to their improved energy density and enhanced safety when contrasted to commercial operations lithium-ion batteries with liquid electrolytes.
Toyota, Samsung, and BMW are among the businesses that are developing solid-state batteries for cell phones. A United States startup Solid Power is among the top-notch manufacturers of solid-state batteries as well as Sulfide solid electrolytes for smartphones and electric vehicles. Their batteries outperform traditional lithium-ion batteries due to the utilization of better-performing electrodes such as high-content silicon and lithium metal, so consumers may expect a 15-35% cost savings at the pack level.
Graphene-Based Batteries for Mobile Phones
Graphene is the 2-dimensional framework of graphite, in which one layer of planar carbon atoms is organized in the form of a honeycomb lattice. Even at absolute zero, graphene is regarded as a semi-metallic material. Graphene has four times the tensile strength of steel, is extremely adaptable, transparent, and an exceptional conductor of heat and electricity due to its bonds. These attributes of graphene make it a suitable material for both mobile phone batteries and supercapacitors.
Huawei, Samsung, and Graphene Flagship, a research project financed by the European Union, are among the corporations working on the development of graphene battery packs for cell phones.
Hydrogen Fuel Cells Based Batteries
The utilization of hydrogen fuel cells presents a novel technological advancement with the potential to significantly transform the mobile phone battery landscape. These fuel cells function through the combination of hydrogen and oxygen, resulting in the production of water as a byproduct. Such a process renders hydrogen fuel cells an environmentally friendly and proficient energy source.
Various corporations are currently involved in the research and development of hydrogen fuel cells for mobile phones, including Intelligent Energy, a UK-based enterprise that has engineered a fuel cell that can power an iPhone for up to a week without necessitating a recharge. The organization is presently in the process of creating a commercial version of the fuel cell to cater to the mobile phone industry.
Sodium Ion Mobile Batteries
Sodium-ion batteries represent an alternative to conventional lithium-ion batteries for energy storage and release, utilizing sodium ions instead. The abundance and comparatively lower cost of sodium compared to lithium render sodium-ion batteries a more cost-effective choice. Additionally, sodium-ion batteries demonstrate a higher energy density in comparison to NiMH batteries.
A research article published in the Journal of Physics: Energy has presented an overview of sodium ion mobile batteries. As per the research, Titanium-based oxides are regarded as highly potential and versatile anode materials for sodium batteries, given their affordability, facile processing, and lack of toxicity. These materials exhibit greater safety in comparison to carbon-based anodes due to their elevated operating voltage, which helps prevent the formation of metallic sodium plating.
Notably, a select number of corporations, including Faradion (UK), Tiamat (Europe), Altris AB (Europe), HiNa (China), and Natron Energy (USA), are currently dedicated to the development of sodium batteries.
Novel Thin Film Battery – A Game Changer for Mobile Phones
A company based in Rzeszów is aiming to revolutionize the global market with its latest thin-film battery, which is expected to have a lifespan of up to 68 years. Developed by The Batteries, this cutting-edge technology has already earned the label of “a game changer” from the industry press, and the company plans to commence large-scale production once construction of their “pilot factory” is complete.
Polish scientists have created a battery that can charge from 0 percent to 100 percent in merely eight minutes, offering an alternative to the conventional lithium-ion batteries which have dominated the market for the past 25 years. The new technology developed in Poland obviates the requirement for supplementary chemical compounds, and as a result, the energy density of the battery has increased by almost twofold to 1,200 Wh/l.
Market Analysis and Future Perspective
Allied Market Research has published a thorough report focusing on the market analysis and industry forecast of mobile phone batteries. According to the report, the global market for mobile batteries had a value of $21.2 billion in 2020, and it is anticipated to grow to $38.6 billion by 2030, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.3% between 2021 and 2030.
The report highlights that the Asia-Pacific region is projected to hold the largest market share, with China, India, and Japan emerging as major players in the mobile battery market. Nevertheless, North America and Europe are also predicted to experience substantial growth, owing to a surge in demand for superior battery technology fueled by the growing popularity of smartphones and other mobile devices.
The future of mobile phone batteries appears bright, with various promising new technologies currently under development. Notably, the advancement of flexible and stretchable batteries is an area of active exploration. Such batteries can be easily integrated into wearable devices and possess the ability to bend and stretch without compromising their functionality. This will facilitate the creation of novel types of wearable devices that are presently unfeasible.
In short, the recent technological innovations in mobile phone batteries will play a crucial role in the further commercialization of smartphones and modern industrial infrastructure.
More from AZoM: The Role of Batteries in Grid-Scale Energy Storage
References and Further Reading
Nanografi, 2023. Graphene Batteries As Promising Battery Technology. [Online]
Available at: https://nanografi.com/blog/graphene-batteries-as-promising-battery-technology-nanografi/
[Accessed 13 April 2023].
Webber, A., 2023. Rzeszów scientists develop phone battery that charges in eight minutes and lasts 68 Years!. [Online]
Available at: https://www.thefirstnews.com/article/rzeszow-scientists-develop-phone-battery-that-charges-in-eight-minutes-and-lasts-68-years-35588
[Accessed 14 April 2023].
Allied Market Research, 2022. Mobile Battery Market by Type (Lithium-ion Battery, Nickel based, and Others), Application (Smartphone and Non-Smartphone), and Sales Channel (Online and Offline): Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2021-2030. [Online] Available at: https://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/mobile-battery-market-A15475 [Accessed 14 April 2023].
Tapia-Ruiz, N. et al. (2021). 2021 roadmap for sodium-ion batteries. Journal of Physics: Energy, 3(3), 031503. Available at: https://www.doi.org/10.1088/2515-7655/ac01ef
Liang, Y. et. al. (2019). A review of rechargeable batteries for portable electronic devices. InfoMat, 1(1), 6-32. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1002/inf2.1200