A small company formed by MIT alumni has done what everybody who’s ever owned a smartphone has begged for: increased the battery capacity.

SolidEnergy Systems has used an anode-free design to make a battery twice as energy-dense as the current lithium-ion batteries used in much of the tech littered around the world today.

Rather than the conventional graphite anode, SolidEnergy uses a thin lithium-metal foil that reportedly holds much more ions than the anode could.

“With two-times the energy density, we can make a battery half the size, but that still lasts the same amount of time, as a lithium ion battery. Or we can make a battery the same size as a lithium ion battery, but now it will last twice as long,” chief executive officer and co-creator of the battery, Qichao Hu, told MIT.

To insure that these batteries would actually make it into the market, the manufacturing process uses the same machinery that is used to create existing Li-Ion batteries.

A $12 million idea every tech firm wishes they came up with

The firm showcased a prototype of its lithium metal smartphone battery with its double capacity back in October 2015. The prototype was so ground breaking it earned SolidEnergy $12 million in investment.

While the plan is to bring these batteries to smartphones in 2017 and electric cars a year later, Hu is looking to the skies for the lithium battery’s first commercial application.

“Several customers are using drones and balloons to provide free Internet to the developing world, and to survey for disaster relief,” Hu said. “It’s a very exciting and noble application.”

[Via – MIT] [Image – CC BY SA 2.0 Martin Abegglen]