Inspenet, September 16, 2023.
A novel energy storage system could provide infinite charging to devices such as phones, computers and cars.
In recent years, scientists have been developing quantum batteries that take advantage of the unique properties of photons to achieve extremely fast charging. However, a group of researchers has taken this a step further by creating a new system that not only allows for wireless charging, but also makes them resistant to wear and tear over time.
Electronic devices used every day work by accumulating ions and electrons in electrochemical batteries. These could lead to an energy and transportation crisis in the future. For this reason, researchers and companies are working on the development of new technologies that improve their power and durability.
One of the most recent technologies, which is still in the experimental phase, deals with energy storage using photons, known as quantum batteries . This idea was first proposed just ten years ago by Robert Alicki, a researcher at the University of Gdańsk in Poland, and Mark Fannes of KU Leuven in Belgium. These batteries take advantage of the properties of photons such as entanglement and superposition to connect particles to each other and achieve faster charging as their size increases.
Quantum batteries: Are we one step away from their use?
Although these batteries are ideal for powering different devices, they still present challenges that hinder their commercial viability.
However, a recent breakthrough by researchers at Lanzhou University in China offers a solution to such challenges. Instead of using the direct connection of the battery to the charger, the researchers explored a different technique by connecting them through a thin rectangular metal tube located in the center of the battery, which they called a “waveguide” and which generates a magnetic field.
Despite the distance separating the battery from the charger and the electromagnetic field generated by the waveguide, the research team’s calculations showed that this methodology was more efficient than expected. The interaction between the battery and the charger in the same electromagnetic field resulted in optimal charging, the researchers say.
This advancement is still at an early stage and its practical application in our everyday devices will take time. As New Scientist magazine points out, the next step for researchers will be to integrate more devices into this system. The research team suggests that the theoretical charging method could also be tested in practice by building the battery and charger using tiny defective diamonds currently used in quantum communication.